1 dead after early morning house fire in Decatur County

DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. — Firefighters rushed to a burning home early Tuesday morning in Decatur County, making a heartbreaking discovery as they got the flames under control. Firefighters found a body inside the burned home.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 4.21.02 PMWhen WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News arrived at the home, the smell of smoke still lingered in the air. Fire officials said they were outside the house nearly half the morning. A neighbor saw the home engulfed in flames before any first responders arrived.

“I looked over and saw the house was in full flames,” Evamaria Kinner said. “It was so bad you could see through it to the other side of the house to the trees — it was that far gone from front to back.”

Kinner lives less than half a mile from where the fire took place.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life, and I’ve seen many fires on dairy barns when I lived up North,” Kinner said.

Decatur County Sheriff Keith Byrd said the home on Brooksie Thompson Road belonged to 61-year-old Robert Yager.

First responders arrived a little before 3 a.m. Tuesday and made the heartbreaking discovery as the flames were extinguished. Sheriff Byrd said right now they cannot confirm if the body found is Yager.

“We can’t confirm whether it’s male or female or anything like that,” Sheriff Byrd said.

The body was removed and taken to the medical examiner’s office in Nashville. Decaturville fire officials said the State Fire Marshal’s Office came out around 5 a.m. Tuesday to investigate.

“The fire marshal’s arson investigators are here. They’re going through the house and looking at everything,” Byrd said.

The sheriff said the Yager family has been contacted and told about the fatal fire even though the body has not been identified. Neighbors say Yager deals with disabilities and has trouble walking.

The sheriff’s office says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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