FALLS CHURCH, Va. (CBSDC) — One woman killed in an early morning Falls Church house fire Wednesday has been identified as 48-year-old Laura Jeanne Snyder-Gardner.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said they are still working to identify the body of a second female found in the Manor Road home. Neighbors say at least two of the three residents of the home were deaf and one was confined to a wheelchair.
The blaze, which also killed several pets, began shortly before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities say. The home was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. One body was discovered shortly after the flames were extinguished and a second was found in the rubble hours later.
A third individual who lives at residence may not have been home at the time of the fire. A person who lives nearby says that person’s car was not in the driveway.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but one neighbor describes being awoken by a thump that he thought was an explosion.
“I started to get up and then I heard the woman next door scream,” he told WNEW. “I know it was her voice. I heard her scream once and then I heard her scream a second time. By the time I got around my bed to the window… the entire house was engulfed in flame.”
A Fairfax County Fire Department spokesperson confirms two dogs and two cats also perished in the blaze.
The home is “virtually unrecognizable” according to WNEW reporter Kevin Patrick.