NORMAN — Investigators here said they aren't sure about the cause of death of a person found inside a burning home Wednesday.
Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said detectives were called to investigate, along with fire officials, “because the cause of death is not readily apparent.” He stopped short of saying the death was suspicious.
“We don't know what we've got,” Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said. “We are investigating it to see if it is suspicious.”
Neighbors said Tina Burton and her son, Pat, live at the single-story house at 619 Villa Drive. They said Tina Burton is in Tennessee visiting relatives and that Pat Burton was off work because of an injury and had been staying home recuperating.
The neighbors, and close friends of the family who arrived on the scene midafternoon, said they believe Pat Burton is the person who was found inside the house.
Pat Burton's pickup is missing from the residence, they said.
Bailey said he could not confirm that the body was a man or woman or that it was Pat Burton.
“That information will have to come from the medical examiner,” he said.
Firefighters were called to the house about 11 a.m. Wednesday after a neighbor saw smoke billowing from the residence.
Bailey said a partially burned body was discovered inside the house near a bedroom.
Neighbor Vicki Young described Tina and Pat Burton as “good people — very, very nice people. They've lived there for years.”
Young said Pat Burton is in his 50s, and his mother is in her mid-70s.
The body was removed from the residence and taken to the state medical examiner's office about 5:30 p.m.
A short time later, fire officials left the scene. Detectives remained at the residence, however. They were seen carrying items from the house and loading them into a van.
“At this point, we've concluded our work, and it's up to the police department to continue to investigate,” Bailey said.