Fayette County sheriff calls deadly house fire 'suspicious'

Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb says the house fire that killed a man on Porter Road last Thursday is suspicious and he has asked for assistance from the State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate.

The sheriff says his investigators cannot release the identity of the victim of the fire because they are waiting on an autopsy. He does confirm they have arrested the man’s son, who they say was driving drunk after the fire and also had a firearm in his car.

At the fire scene on Porter Road in Fayette County on Wednesday, flowers were placed near what was the bedroom where investigators said they found that man’s body.

Photos the sheriff released to FOX 5 from the night of the fire show it was an intense blaze. The entire roof had nearly burned away. Some of the first floor has collapsed into the home’s basement.

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The Fayette County sheriff believes a deadly fire is suspicious, but is waiting for a complete autopsy report.

Sheriff Babb says his investigators are also working with the state fire marshal’s office, as well as the state crime laboratory, to determine what started the fire, how the man died, and if there was foul play involved. He says there are things in the investigation that he cannot yet release that have raised suspicion.

The sheriff says a patrol deputy arrested the son of the man believed to have been killed in the fire. Deputies stopped a pickup truck he was driving near the fire scene. He says the truck was registered to the victim and deputies were curious when it drove by the fire scene that night without stopping.

Griffin Michael Leach

Griffin Michael Leach (Fayette County Sheriff's Office)

Twenty-three-year-old Griffin Michael Leach was charged with DUI and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The arrest warrant states Leach has a previous conviction of aggravated assault and was out on probation.

Sheriff Babb says the release of the victim's name has been hampered by a delay in the autopsy. The state crime laboratory has seen a backlog in cases recently.

Anyone with information that can help in the case should call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.