Annapolis mansion fire ruled accidental; Christmas tree fueled conflagration

| January 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

4AlarmFireChildsPtRd-1Anne Arundel County authorities, along with the ATF have determined that the fire that destroyed a waterfront mansion in Annapolis and killed six people was accidental.

Authorities believe that an electrical fire sparked the blaze in the great room of the 16,000 square foot mansion. A 15′ Christmas tree in the room was cited as the main cause for the fire to get so intense so quickly. According to the Fire Marshal, Deputy Chief Scott Hoglander, the initial call was received by the alarm company for a smoke detector alarm. Within 2 minutes, they began to receive 911 calls from neighbors. Hoglander did confirm that the smoke detectors were operable and sounding at the time of the blaze.

L to R: AACo Fire Marshal, Dep. Chief Scott Hoglander; AA County State's Attorney, Wes Adams; Agt Bill McMullan, ATF; AACo Fire Chief Allan Graves; AACo Fire PIO Capt. Russ Davies; AACo County Executive, Steve Schuh

L to R: AACo Fire Marshal, Dep. Chief Scott Hoglander; AA County State’s Attorney, Wes Adams; Agt Bill McMullan, ATF; AACo Fire Chief Allan Graves; AACo Fire PIO Capt. Russ Davies; AACo County Executive, Steve Schuh

Fire Chief Allan Graves said that the the sleeping areas of the home were connected to the great room. Graves said that the tree is believed to have been cut 60 days prior to the fire.

When questioned about reports of the home being a “smart home” with video surveillance, Hoglander stated that there were DVRs that were recovered but the damage was too severe for them to be of use. It was not clear if there was a “cloud” version of any video kept off-site.

Killed in the fire were Don Pyle, 56 and Sandra Pyle, 63; along with their four grandchildren, Alexis Boone, 8; Kaitlyn Boone, 7; Charlotte Boone, 8; and Wesley Boone, 6.

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John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.