Firefighters discovered a deceased man in a house which was severely damaged by fire on Wednesday.
Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steven Hatfield said the fire occurred at 1535 North KY 413 at Rosspoint.
Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Shane Jacobs said Wednesday evening that Jerry Robert Langley, 25, of Harlan, was found inside the residence deceased and KSP Det. Josh Howard is conducting a death investigation.
An autopsy is scheduled in Frankfort at the State Medical Examiner’s Office.
Harlan County Deputy Coroner Jim Rich responded to the scene and assisted with the investigation.
According to Hatfield, the call came in in the early morning hours.
“We were paged at approximately 3:30 a.m. for a structure fire,” Hatfield said. “Upon arrival, there was smoke showing with flames coming out of one room in the structure.”
Hatfield said as soon as they arrived they began working on extinguishing the fire.
“Approximately 30 minutes into extinguishing the fire, we did find a body in the structure,” Hatfield said. “We notified Kentucky State Police and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, which is standard procedure.”
Hatfield said Kentucky State Police units arrived on the scene at approximately 4:30 a.m., with the Kentucky Fire Marshal’s Office and KSP Arson Investigator Josh Bunch arriving shortly thereafter.
The structure was severely damaged.
“It was a complete loss,” said Hatfield. “It had belonged to a man who had passed away…the family had just kept the electricity and everything on, but nobody actually lived there.”
Hatfield said the fire was extinguished by 6 a.m.
Harlan City Fire Department assisted at the scene.
“We were on scene until about 10:15, when we were paged to assist the Putney Volunteer Fire Department with another structure fire they had on U.S. 119,” Hatfield said.
Putney Volunteer Fire Department member Shawn Hightower said the Putney Fire Department was paged out at approximately 9 a.m. to respond to a structure fire on U.S. 119 near Putney.
“Flames were shooting out of the roof,” Hightower said. “The homeowner said the people that had been renting the home had moved out the day before.”
Hightower said the residence was a total loss.
Putney Fire Department, Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department, Harlan County Emergency Management and the Kentucky State Police arson investigator responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde