State police: cause of fatal fire may never be known Victim yet to be identified
A state police fire marshal said Tuesday that he doubts that investigators will ever be able to determine the cause of Monday's house fire on Norton Road in Forks Township, Sullivan County, which claimed the life of one person.
The amount of damage caused by the fire was so extensive that investigators have not been able to determine its cause, state police Fire Marshal Ronald Jarocha said on Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators have currently listed the cause of the fire as "undetermined," he said.
Jarocha said that while state police fire marshals are continuing to investigate the blaze, which occurred at 486 Norton Road, he doubts that they will ever be able to determine the cause of the fire.
The main residence, as well as two other buildings on the property - a garage and guest house - all burned to the ground, he said.
Jarocha said he believes the fire started in the main residence and then spread to the other two buildings. However, Jarocha declined to give more specific information at this time on where in the main residence the fire would have started.
"I don't see it (the cause of the fire) as being suspicious right now," said Jarocha, who added that he can't say for sure whether the fire started accidentally or had been deliberately set.
Investigators have not yet been able to positively identify the body that was found in the residence, state police said.
An autopsy on the body was conducted on Tuesday, police said.
"We are waiting on the results (of forensic tests) so that we can positively identify (the body)," state Trooper Sean Blass said Tuesday afternoon. "We probably won't get the results for a couple of days."
The tests involve, among other things, dental and other medical records, and blood work, Sullivan County Coroner Wendy Hastings said.
Hastings said she won't make a ruling on the cause of the individual's death until the complete results of the autopsy are available, and she added that she didn't know when that would occur.
"It could be a few days. It could be a few weeks," she said.
The fire occurred at a seasonal residence outside of Forksville.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.