Fatal fire in Appleton

Authorities believe that a body discovered during a May 30 house fire is that of a 70-year-old Appleton man who lived alone in the burned-out mobile home.

According to a press release from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Lambert, an emergency call was received around 12:30 p.m. by Brewton police, who transferred the call to ECSO dispatchers. The caller reported a residential structure fire at 71 Brigham Lane, just north of Brewton and off U.S. 31 in the tiny settlement of Appleton.

Fire departments from Appleton and Brewton responded to the blaze. When fire personnel entered the home to fight the fire they discovered a badly burned body inside. The discovery prompted the further dispatch of ECSO deputies and investigators to the scene, and a Deputy State Fire Marshal was also summoned.

Law enforcement officials believe that Charlie Wilson, 70, who lived alone at the residence, perished in the fire. Lambert said no other bodies were found, and nobody was found alive inside the residence, enhancing the belief that Wilson is the victim.

The body was transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences crime lab in Mobile for identification purposes and to determine if the fire was the actual cause of the man’s death.

Foul play is not believed to have been a factor, but the fiery fatality is still under investigation by the sheriff’s office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, who are combing the fire scene while awaiting the results of the crime lab examination.