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NEW INFO: Body believed to that of homeowner found in Beaufort County house

Deputies say two dogs died in a fire late Sunday night.
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 11:56 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 1:43 PM EST
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Deputies say they believe they have found the body of a homeowner inside the remains of his Beaufort County home.

“Chip” Laughinghouse had been missing since Sunday night’s fire on East Bayside Drive outside of Chocowinity.

Laughinghouse and his brother own Bostic Sugg Furniture in Greenville.

Deputies this afternoon said the body will be sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville for verification.

Two dogs also died in the fire and investigators say they still don’t know how the fire began.

MONDAY STORY

Authorities today are sifting through the remains of a Beaufort County home that was destroyed by fire, and say it’s not clear if anyone was inside or not.

Next door neighbors alerted authorities around 10:10 p.m. Sunday to the fire on East Bayside Drive outside of Chocowinity. Another neighbor moved the resident’s vehicle so firefighters could get to the house.

Chocowinity Fire Chief Tommy Pendley said when their first units arrived they found heavy flames coming out of the back of the waterfront home. Three fire departments were there for more than four hours.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the county fire marshal with assistance from the fire department are investigating the cause.

A K-9 was assisting deputies as they went through the home this morning.

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