Fatal Pendleton fire is being investigated

FALMOUTH — One person has died in a house fire in Pendleton County. Firefighters were called to a home at 199 Moore Road in Williams town about half a mile east of the Pendleton and Grant county line at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, state police said. A body was found among the debris.

State police have not released the victim's name, but the property owner, David Gilliam, said the victim is Kenneth Searp, who had rented the home from him for about four years. Gilliam said Searp, who was about 55 years old, was home alone at the time of the fire.

Gilliam said Searp had recently installed a woodburning stove, which could have caused the fire. He said the home had a furnace, but Searp had lost his job a few months back and was unable to afford the gas needed to run it. "He took care of my farm," Gilliam said. "I didn't have to worry about anything."

Fire crews from Williamstown, Dry Ridge, Falmouth and Pendleton County extinguished the fire.

State police said the incident remains under investigation. The body was taken to the Northern Kentucky Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.