Body found after house fire

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, February 23, 2021

On Feb. 21 shortly after 10:00 p.m., Beaufort County Emergency Communications received a 911 call reporting a heavily involved structure fire at 486 E. Bayside Drive in Chocowinity. The caller reported the homeowner was likely still inside the residence.  Members of Chocowinity Fire Department, Chocowinity EMS, Bunyan Fire Department, Washington Fire/Rescue/EMS, Beaufort County EMS, Beaufort County Emergency Management, and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.  After about 4 and a half hours the blaze was contained but the home appears to be a total loss.  

It has been confirmed that two dogs died in the fire. Investigators have located what they believe to be the body of Vann Richard (“Chip”) Laughinghouse, 58, inside his home at 486 E. Bayside Drive. The body will be sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville for verification. The cause of the fire is unknown currently and still under investigation.