MARLOW, Okla. – A home was destroyed in an early-morning fire in Marlow, and fire officials say it belonged to Charles Dyer, the man accused of raping a 6-year-old girl.
His retrial on that charge was scheduled for Monday. His first trial, in April, ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. They had deliberated for eight hours after hearing four days of testimony. They appeared to have reached a verdict, but one juror changed his mind on the way to the courtroom, so the foreman told the judge they were deadlocked.
Fire officials say Dyer was not there when his house caught fire around 4 a.m. In fact, they say Dyer was only renting the trailer home. The owner lives next door. He is the one who saw the fire and called it in.
According to Bray Assistant Fire Chief Brian Gensamer, no one was injured during the fire, but, at first, no one was sure if anyone, including Dyer, was still inside.
"The roof had already collapsed. It was fully engulfed," said Gensamer.
That is Gensamer saw when he first arrived. And he was not sure what to expect.
"There were no vehicles around and typically, I guess, there was a motorcycle parked on the front porch," said Gensamer.
The motorcycle is said to belong to Dyer. Fire officials were told he could still be inside.
"We moved part of the roof and searched in cubby holes and stuff like that but we didn't see him."
"Luckily he showed up later. He seemed very distraught."
Moments later, Gensamer says Dyer's family showed up.
"They met him there. They just kind of embraced and said ‘Thank god he's alive.'"
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Gensamer says the fire burned for over three hours and that very little was left behind. He says most likely the state fire marshal will be called in to investigate.
As for dyer's retrial on the sexual abuse charge, 7News was unable to reach the district attorney for comment on whether it might be delayed, in light of the fire. At this point, jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday morning.