Man, 68, found dead after fire

May 01, 2007|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Reporter

A Harford County house fire that went undetected, possibly for several days, may have caused the death of the 68-year-old homeowner, authorities said yesterday.

Raymond A. Hull was the sole occupant of the ranch house in the 300 block of Forest Valley Road in Forest Hill, fire officials said. A family friend, concerned that he had not heard from Hull for several days, discovered the body and the charred living room shortly after noon yesterday and called 911.

Volunteer firefighters from companies in Bel Air and Fallston responded but found no evidence of fire outside of the home.

"They arrived and nothing was showing on the exterior of the brick home," said Rich Gardiner, spokesman for Harford's volunteer companies. "The home probably caught fire, [and the fire] killed the occupant and burnt itself out."

Investigators were on the scene until late yesterday trying to determine the cause of the fire and when it occurred. Damages were estimated to be about $20,000.

"We know it began in the living room, where Mr. Hull was found," said W. Faron Taylor, spokesman for the state fire marshal's office. "We are working to narrow the chronology and how it started. This fire did not progress far before it ran out of oxygen. The home was sealed tight and well insulated."

Investigators are awaiting autopsy results from the state medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

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