By Max Hrenda
The Carter County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a fire officials say started under “suspicious” circumstances after an empty house in Roan Mountain “erupted in flames” in near-freezing temperatures.
On Wednesday afternoon, between 4:30 and 5:30, firefighters worked to contain a fire that ravaged the interior of the house at 1630 Highway 143.
Because the house was unoccupied, however – and was not connected to any electrical source – CCSD Lt. Tim Horne said the incident is being treated as “suspicious.”
“The house has been vacated for what we believe to be five years,” Horne said. “It doesn’t have power, and, given the inclement weather that we just had, there has to be a reason for the combustion. Until we can find out what that is, it’s suspicious in nature.”
Horne added that he was unsure of the exact amount of time the house was left vacant, and was still attempting to contact the owner, who lives in West Virginia.