ASHLAND A man has been charged with first-degree arson involving a fatal house fire that occurred on the 1200 block of Gallaher Drive early Thursday morning.

Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley said Christopher Childers, 33, is a resident of the home and was one of two people inside it during the fire. He said the incident is still under investigation and wasn’t able to provide details on how the fire was started.

“Right now it’s just very preliminary and what we know is we do have an arson charge,” said Kelley.

Ashland Fire Chief Greg Ray said the department received a call about the fire around 2:45 a.m.

“When we arrived it was already burning through the roof,” he said.

Ray could not say what exactly caused the fatality but said there’s extensive damage around where the body was located. He added that fire investigators had been at the residence all morning trying to detect the cause.

Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond said the individual who died was a female. He believes she was in her 50s. He said she has not been officially identified, noting an autopsy will need to be completed. He also verified that she was a resident of the home.

Childers was booked at the Boyd County Detention Center on Thursday around 10 a.m.

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