Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley has ruled the cause of death in the case of an individual found in the basement of a burning Rockholds home Friday as suicide.
Croley said the male subject, whose name is not being released, died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Croley confirmed that the victim lived at the residence at 74 Gail Hart Road.
Firefighters were called to the scene off of Tye’s Ferry Road at approximately 2:41 p.m. in response to a report of a structure fire.
Rockholds Fire Chief Charles Walker said when the first firefighters arrived, flames were already coming out of the roof of the single story home.
“We got it knocked down pretty quick,” Walker said explaining that the heat melted the fiberglass panels that insulated the home, producing plumes of white smoke.
Woodbine, Oak Grove, Patterson Creek and Goldbug Volunteer fire departments all responded to requests for manpower and tankers.
Walker said that after learning of the presence of the deceased, firefighters turned their efforts to protect the integrity of the scene as much as possible until state police investigators arrived.
“Structure-wise there was nothing we could do. It was already destroyed upstairs,” Walker said.
Neighbors said a couple had lived in the home since the summer, but they had not seen anyone at the home in the last couple of days.
A cause of the fire has not yet been determined.