Fire probe reveals few clues

Published 10:47 am Thursday, August 27, 2009

AULANDER – Investigators probing the cause of an Aug. 16 residential fire in Aulander remain uncertain of the cause.

Bertie County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that he and a North Carolina SBI Arson Investigator sorted through the rubble on Tuesday at 311 West Sycamore Street.

“The cause of the fire is still undetermined at this time,” Pittman said. “Debris was collected and will be sent to the SBI lab for analysis.”

Pittman said arson is still not completely ruled out in this case.

“From what we determined, the fire started in the living room area,” Pittman said, adding that the residence was a single-wide mobile home located on a dead end street.

He continued, “There was no one at home at the time of the fire. The lady who lived there told us she had left the residence before midnight on that Saturday night and upon her arrival back at the residence at around 3 a.m. that Sunday morning she discovered her home was on fire.”

Members of the Aulander Fire Department were summoned to the scene at 3:03 a.m. on Aug. 16. Aulander Assistant Fire Chief Jason Tinkham said the home, owned by Takeshia Coleman, was fully engulfed upon the firemen’s arrival.

Fighting the blaze using nine men and three trucks, the Aulander firemen remained on the scene for three hours.

Tinkham said he was suspicious of the fire’s origin and called the Bertie Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

No one was injured in the blaze.