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Waverly firefighters were dispatched Jan. 4 to 426 Coppahaunk Avenue in Waverly at 7:13 a.m. where they found a house fully engulfed in flames.

WAVERLY —Waverly firefighters were dispatched Jan. 4 to 426 Coppahaunk Ave. Waverly at 7:13 a.m. where they found a house fully engulfed in flames, according to Sussex County Sheriff Ernest Giles.

Due to the intense heat the flames, Wakefield and Courthouse fire departments also were dispatched to respond, as were EMS and local law enforcement, and hurried attempts were made to sufficiently subdue the blaze so that firefighters could enter the structure. When they finally were able to gain entry, a body was found in a bedroom area.

“We were unable to tell whether the victim died from smoke inhalation or another cause,” Giles said, but due to speculation among area residents that the victim might have been beaten, drugged or killed prior to the fire, we had state fire marshals come do the investigation along with our people.”

He said the fire started in the kitchen area of the residence, and emphasized that the decision to request the assistance of the medical examiner’s office was based on the need for a careful examination of the body in order to rule out the possibility of foul play.

This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information on the fire is urgently asked to call 434-246-5000 and ask for Investigator John Ogburn.