The body of a 45-year-old Woodbine man was found yesterday in the rubble of a pre-Civil War log house destroyed in a two-alarm fire Sunday night, authorities said.
Investigators recovered the body of Jesse V. Ridgely about 12:30 p.m. after rubble from the collapsed structure was cool enough to search. Ridgely, who had a muscular disorder since birth and used a wheelchair, lived alone, said his sister, Laura Scott, who lives next door in the 5700 block of Bethel Road off Gillis Road.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation yesterday afternoon. Firefighters did not have a damage estimate.
Dave Morgan, public information officer for Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Company, said the roof and second floor had collapsed by the time firefighters arrived just before 9:30 p.m.
"We went to a defensive mode; `there was no way we could go in, it was so hot, even from the outside," Morgan said.
But he said several family members at the scene confirmed a man was in the home.
Firefighters returned to the scene from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. yesterday to help search for Ridgely. They found the body on the first floor, Morgan said. "We think it was the living room."
The fire was reported about 9:15 p.m.
Units from Winfield, Mount Airy, Sykesville, Gamber, and Lisbon and West Friendship in Howard County, remained on the scene for more than six hours.