Local investigators are seeking answers following a fire and discovery of a body inside one of the burned structures at Big Oak Campground early Saturday morning, Dec. 31.

Around 6 a.m. Saturday, witnesses across Lake Weiss noticed an apparent structure fire across the lake at Big Oak Campground. Members of the Leesburg, Tucker’s Chapel, and Sand Rock Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene where multiple camper trailers were fully involved. After extinguishing the structures, a body was discovered inside one of the campers. Cherokee County Deputy Fire Marshall and Arson Investigator Shawn Rogers, along with the Cherokee County Coroner’s office were called to the scene, according to Dr. Jeremy Deaton, Cherokee County Coroner.

Dr. Deaton indicates that the deceased is an apparent white, male, but the identity is being withheld at this time pending the notification of family. The body will be carried to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science for an autopsy on Tuesday for complete forensic investigation as to the cause of death.

The State Fire Marshall’s Office, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cherokee County Major Crimes Unit are investigating the cause and origin of the fire, Dr. Deaton said.

Members of the Cherokee Electric Co-Op were also on scene to restore power to the other residents of the campground, according to Dr. Deaton.

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