Oxford police want to talk to man who lived at home where four died

(Derrick Lewis/CBS north Carolina)


OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials are working to find out what caused a house fire that killed four people in Oxford early Sunday morning.

“We want to make sure that we approach it systematically and make sure that our conclusion is the right conclusion,” said Oxford Fire Chief David Cottrell.

The fire at a house at New College and Rectory street in Oxford was reported around 3 a.m., according to the Oxford Fire Department.

“They were found in the mid-section of the home,” said Cottrell. “The home was approximately 1,700 square feet. We found them about middle way between the front and the back of the home.”

Neighbors didn’t want to talk on camera, but say an explosion around 3 a.m. Sunday woke them up.

Several of them said five people lived at the home.

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Oxford police say they would like to talk to Steve Robertson — a resident of the home not believed to have died in the fire — to see how he’s doing emotionally, while they wait final confirmation on the identities of the victims.

Neighbors say Robertson is married to one of the home’s other residents and a father to another.

Neighbors haven’t seen him since the deadly fire.

“The bodies have been sent to the state,” said Cottrell. “The medical examiner’s office is looking for identification. The police department is handling that part of it and once they get a report back from the state, the police department will make the appropriate notifications for the family and also to us to let us know that there’s confirmation of who was actually in the home.”

Investigators say nothing has been ruled out as a potential cause of the fire.

The fire chief says that report from the medical examiner’s office could take about one to two weeks.

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