Officials identify victims found dead in Athens house fire

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UPDATE 6/23/08 2:00 p.m.: ATHENS, Tenn. (AP) -- Authorities in Athens said a couple in their 30s died in a house fire.

Officials said Monday the victims were Christopher Michael Dyke and Barrie Leigh Sweeton.

Both were 33 years old.

A police officer was patrolling early Sunday when he smelled smoke and called in the alarm.

Detective Heith Willis said the fire was too hot for the officer to enter the house.

Willis said state fire inspectors determined there was no foul play involved and the search for the cause is still under way.

Willis said Dyke's body was found near a bedroom door and Sweeton's body was on a bed.

Investigators say the victims were probably quickly overwhelmed by smoke in the small house they were renting.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


MCMINN COUNTY (WVLT) – Two people are dead in following a house fire early Sunday morning in Athens.

Athens Police say it happened just after 2:00 AM when a pair of patrol officers spotted a structure on fire at 9 Webb Street.

Fire crews quickly arrived on the scene and while extinguishing the fire they discovered the two victims already dead inside the home. Their identities have not yet been released.

State property records indicate the one story home was built in 1940. It measures 630 square feet and is currently owned by Joyce Newman, also of Athens. It's property assessment for 2008 noted that the home "needs extensive repairs."

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Tennessee’s Bomb and Arson Unit is assisting in the investigation.

Stay with Volunteer TV News and for the latest on this developing story.

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