Salem fire investigators have identified the man killed in yesterday’s fatal house fire at 1727 Victoria Street as 61-year-old Robert Arthur Barnes. There is no word yet on the cause, but officials say in response to widespread speculation that began with reports of an explosion, they have determined it was not the result of any meth lab activity. The dollar loss as estimated at $30,000.

(Continue reading for the full Salem Fire/EMS news release)


The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to a structure fire at 1727 Victoria St. Thursday morning and while conducting search and rescue operations, firefighters found one person dead in the home. The deceased has been identified as 61-year-old Robert Arthur Barnes of Salem.

The Salem Fire Marshal spent all of Thursday at the scene and at this time the cause of the fire remains under investigation. However, it has been determined that the fire was not the result of any type of “meth lab” activity. This was highly speculated yesterday since the original call came into 911 as an explosion with fire. Investigators found no evidence of such activity at the scene. Damage to the structure is estimated at $30,000.