LITTLETON, W.Va. – When a State Police trooper arrived on the scene of a house fire in Wetzel County Monday night there wasn’t much left of the single-story home.
Sgt. J.E. Shriver said he was familiar with the house in the community of Littleton and those who lived there.
“After several hours of getting the fire under control and once the fire marshals got there, we were able to go through the remains of the house, finding three bodies,” Shriver said.
The victims have been identified as Michael McDougal, 63, Carmen McDougal, 55, and an acquaintance from Pennsylvania. The man’s name has not been released.
The state Fire Marshal’s Office hasn’t determined the cause of the blaze. Initial reports called it suspicious. Investigators are asking for help on the West Virginia Arson Hotline at 1-800-233-FIRE.
Sgt. Shriver said the house was full of flames when fire crews arrived on the scene but they also had access issues. He said an old railroad bed provides the main road to the site and it was impassable.
“It’s not wide and it wasn’t big enough to get a big fire truck in there,” he told MetroNews. “Due to the weather conditions, from the rain, the road was muddy and they couldn’t get in there that way so they had to run hoses up over the hill.”
Sgt. Shriver said the house was pretty much gone before fire crews arrived.
“If they would have gotten there 10 minutes sooner it wouldn’t have mattered,” Shriver said.