State and local authorities are on the scene on Dunbar Rd. in the area of Winningham Rd. — south of Lake Tansi — investigating circumstances surrounding a vehicle fire after a body was discovered inside.

“I can’t tell you anything more than that because we don’t know what we have here,” Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox said at the scene.

Cox confirmed that the vehicle — sitting in a lane of traffic — was not involved in a crash.

The incident was reported around 7 p.m. and initial reports were that a vehicle enveloped in flames that may have been involved in a wreck. Numerous reports followed, telling E-911 dispatchers that several explosions were heard and it was unknown if anyone was inside the burning car. One passerby attempted to reach the vehicle but was driven back by flames, intense heat and heavy smoke.

It was not until later that authorities discovered the body of a person inside what was described as an SUV.

Because of the intense heat of the fire, all four tires exploded and the vehicle was sitting on its rims. The heat melted the vehicle’s license plate, preventing investigators from identifying to whom the vehicle was registered.

Cox said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Bomb and Arson Squad was en route to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire. Several sheriff’s investigators and the county’s medical examiner were also present.

At this hour that section of Dunbar remains closed to through traffic and the investigation is ongoing. Cox said it was too early to rush to judgment as to the cause of the fire.

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