Vancleave House Fire Turns Fatal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/13/05

Vancleave House Fire Turns Fatal

Twenty hours after flames engulfed a Vancleave home, the first victim is pulled from the ashes.

Authorities say the body is so badly burned no one can confirm the identity.

Yet family members of one of the homes owner's believe the fire victim is Wanda Bouchard.

No family wished to speak on camera but they say the Alabama native and her Canadian husband Louie Bouchard married a few years ago and bought the home on Forest Crest Lane.

Neighbor Harold McMillan says the couple had no car and depended on others for rides.

When the home caught on fire Saturday afternoon, McMillan feared both of them were inside.

"It's 99-percent sure that their both in that house, the man and the woman," McMillan says.

The search Sunday revealed only one body though.

Sheriff Mike Byrd says the investigation is far from over.

"We're searching right now for the other one," Sheriff Byrd says.

Firefighters, investigators, and search and rescue have been working non-stop since the fire started and will continue weeding through the charred debris for clues.

Family and friends told us they think Wanda may have been a victim of something more than the fire.

Officials say there's no evidence proving that at this point.

"It's too early to tell if there's any type of foul play," Sheriff Byrd says.

By Jaimee Goad

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