NEGLEY -- It could be days before the badly burned body of a man found in the rubble of a weekend fire can be identified and the cause of his death determined.
The poor condition of the body is slowing down the investigative process, Frances Rudibaugh, a Columbiana County Coroner's Office investigator, said Tuesday. The man's body was so burned it was nearly as though he had been cremated, Negley Fire Chief Jerry Hoon said.
Authorities believe the man died in a fire early Saturday morning in a vacant house at 49053 Fredericktown-Clarkson Road, Middleton Township.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. The blaze is being probed by the state fire marshal's office.
So far, no foul play is suspected in either the fire or the man's death, Hoon said.
Authorities say the man killed in the fire was staying in the house with the permission of a caretaker. The owner of the one-story, wood-frame structure lives in the Pittsburgh area. Hoon said he's uncertain of that person's name.