February 12

Bodies of siblings found in remains of Sumner house fire

Autopsies will be performed on the bodies of Robert and Della Keach.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SUMNER – Investigators have recovered the bodies of a brother and sister found in the remains of their home in Sumner which burned to the ground late Tuesday.

click image to enlarge

The remains of a home on Barrows Road in Sumner.

Maine State Police photo

The bodies of Robert Keach, 52 and Della Keach, 60 have been taken to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death and for positive identification, authorities said.

The blaze in the Barrows Road home was reported by neighbors at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire, though they say determining that will be difficult because of the extent of damage. The two story home was flattened in the fire and then firefighters saturated it with water, which then froze.

A spokesman for the agency said the siblings had lived in the house for decades and that it’s main heating source was a wood stove. There was no sign of working smoke detectors, the spokesman said.

The death toll from fire so far this year is six.

Investigators used an excavator to search the rubble on Wednesday.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: dhench@pressherald.com

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