Tragedy struck Wednesday night when emergency crews found a man died inside a burning house on Avondale Avenue. Melvin Ray Shackleford, 41, was found dead at the scene.
In a press release by the Middlesboro Police Department (MPD), it states evidence observed and recovered from the house indicates that his death was self-inflicted and Shackleford set the fire. His remains are being sent to the State Medical Examiners office in Frankfort, where the autopsy was performed.
The release states at approximately 7:20 Wednesday, Middlesboro 911 received a report of a possible fire at 209 Avondale Avenue. Callers reported heavy smoke coming from one of the rear rooms of the house. Middlesboro Fire/EMS and police personnel responded and found the house was burning.
According to reports from the MPD, bystanders reported they believed a man was still inside. Firefighters donned their rescue equipment and entered the house, finding a man (Shackleford) already deceased in the bedroom. The fire was extinguished and the police investigation began.
The case is being investigated by Officer Josh Burchett and Sgt. Wade Barnett, along with Jason Steele of the Bell County Coroner’s Office and Lt. Robert England of the Middlesboro Fire Department.
Anthony Cloud can be contacted at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.