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Deadly house fire in Culloden ruled arson

Fire crews respond to the home in Culloden where a deadly house fire occurred just after noon on Tuesday. (WCHS/WVAH)

Arson is being blamed for a fire that killed a man Tuesday in Culloden.

Robert Newlin watched the fire while waiting to get to his home on Pin Oak Drive. Fire crews had the road shut down for hours as they knocked down the flames, and then investigated its cause.

“That was actually the first house we moved into when we moved to West Virginia,” Newlin said of the destroyed home.

Newlin said a deadly arson on his block had him on edge.

“That’s scary. Who knows what the reason or anything like that. It’s awful," he said.

Culloden Fire Chief Chris Burger said neighbors first heard what sounded like an explosion before seeing smoke billowing from the attic.

Firefighters swept the first floor looking for someone to rescue, but couldn’t get into the attic where the fire started.

“There was a vehicle in the driveway, so we wanted to do a quick search to see if anyone was home,” Burger said.

Fire crews had to dig through the walls and roof to knock down the fire and then found the victim.

“On our guys behalf, there was nothing we could have done to make this outcome better,” Burger said.

Newlin said he hopes the State Fire Marshal’s Office releases information quickly so the neighborhood can sleep easier.

“I hope they’re able to determine exactly the cause and what happened,” he said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has not released the victim’s name, what caused the fire, or why it was set.

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