Two bodies found in rubble after fire destroys Sumner home

Posted Feb. 12, 2014, at 7:29 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 12, 2014, at 1:01 p.m.

SUMNER, Maine — The state fire marshal’s office reports that two bodies have been found in the rubble after fire swept through a house late Tuesday night.

Investigators found both bodies Wednesday morning, according to a release from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. They were taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for autopsy and identification.

A brother and sister, Robert Keach, 52, and Della Keach, 60, were living in the house in the Oxford County town, McCausland said, and both had lived there for decades. Both are missing and are presumed to be the victims of the fire.

A neighbor reported the fire at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The two-story house on Barrows Road, off Route 219, was flattened.

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the fire, though investigators say determining the cause will be difficult because of the extensive damage to the home. The primary heat source for the home was a wood stove, McCausland said, and there is no indication that there were working smoke detectors in the home.

Tuesday’s tragedy brings the state’s fire death toll for 2014 up to six.