ANNAPOLIS, Md., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Six bodies have been found in the Maryland mansion where a high-tech executive, his wife and four grandchildren are believed to have died in a fire.
The sixth body was recovered Monday in the remains of the riverfront house south of Annapolis, officials said. Five others were found last week.
Capt. Russ Davies, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said the chief medical examiner's office in Maryland was working on identification.
"The crews, they've put a lot of effort into it and they're really glad they can begin to bring some element of closure to the family," Davies told the Annapolis Capital Gazette.
While officials said none have been positively identified, they are almost certain to be those of Donald and Sandra Pyle and two sets of cousins, Lexi, Katie, Charlotte and Wes Boone, who were all between the ages of 6 and 8. A fifth grandchild, still a baby, was not at the sleepover at the Pyles' home.
Pyle was the chief operating officer of ScienceLogic, a cybersecurity firm in Reston, Va.
The Pyles took their grandchildren to dinner and a jousting show at Medieval Times before bringing them to their house. The sleepover was arranged because of the three-day weekend for Martin Luther King Day.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours of Jan. 19 and spread quickly through the multi-million-dollar 16,000-square foot home, so huge it was known locally as the castle. The house had no sprinklers, which were not yet required in Anne Arundel County when it was built in 2005 and fire officials say an alarm that alerted a home security company and brought firefighters to the scene did not wake the Pyles and their grandchildren in time for them to escape.
The house's spaciousness contributed to the devastation, fire officials said. The blaze spread more rapidly through the large open rooms inside than it would have through smaller ones.
The search was delayed until Wednesday because there were still hotspots long after the fire had been brought under control and because special equipment had to be supplied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to lift steel beams that collapsed into the basement.
The cause of the fire had not been determined Monday. Officials said the remains of the house are being treated as a crime scene although no evidence of arson has been found yet.
County and federal fire investigators are expected to spend two more days examining the ruins, officials said.