Fire Destroys House making it Tough to ID Body in Corcoran

FRESNO, Calif. Lisa and Matthew Pearce said the fear of not knowing what happened to their friend is too much. "It's sad because we don't know who or anything," said Lisa Pearce.

Friday evening a fire swept through this Corcoran house which now has been reduced to ash. Three people were inside. One was found dead, the other two escaped unharmed. Investigators have not released the name of the deceased because they cannot identify the badly burned body.

Matthew Pearce: "He burns fire wood to heat with. I was wondering if something happened to his chimney or his pipe."

Friends of the people who used to live in this house say it was at least 85 years old and made up of mostly wood. Now Friday night winds were gusting around 20 mph spreading flames all over the place. When firefighters arrived, they said there wasn't much they could do.

Two vehicles were destroyed and trees burned. Firefighters managed to save a nearby barn. Clay Smith is a Battalion Chief with the Kings County fire department. He said there is no reason to believe the fire was intentionally set.

Smith: "We had a witness that was inside the home. And he was able to tell us the origin, or area of the start of the fire, which assisted us later on in the extinguishment of locating the body."

Investigators said it could take as long as a month to properly identify the body found Friday night.

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