Mt. Vernon Register-News


February 19, 2014

Fire results in double fatality

BONNIE — A mobile home fire early Tuesday morning in rural Jefferson County resulted in a double fatality.

Coroner Eddie Joe Marks identified the victims as Gary Melton, 72, the owner of the mobile home in the 13000 block of East Davis Road and his brother, 73-year-old Don Melton.

The call came into the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 1:24 a.m. and the mobile home was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Jefferson Fire Protection District Chief Mike Huntman. He added the front part of the structure was already on the ground when firemen arrived.

The fire is believed to have started in the front part of the mobile home and spread to the center section.

Gary Melton was found on a couch in the center section; his brother was in a back bedroom, according to family members.

Mike Melton, son of Gary Melton, said he visited with his father early Monday evening and talked to him again about 10 p.m. and “everything was alright.”

He also confirmed a labrador retriever worth thousands of dollars perished in the fire.

Marks pronounced the victims dead at 2:45 a.m.

Huntman said the state fire marshal’s office was called, which is routine when a fatality occurs, although the fire is not suspicious in nature.

Cause and origin of the fire has been undetermined and is not suspicious in nature, the chief added.

“It’s a tragedy and unfortunate,” Huntman said. “I believe it’s the first fire fatalities in Jefferson County this year.”

Huntman said he believes the fire started in the front (north) section of the mobile home.

The deaths are being investigated by the fire marshal’s office, State Police Crime Scene Investigation unit, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. Foul play is not suspected at this time, Marks stated in a news release.

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