Neighbors react to Roanoke house fires, apparent murder-suicide in McAfee Knob lot

We’ve now learned the incidents are connected

ROANOKE, Va. – Investigations continue into an apparent Roanoke County murder-suicide and two separate fires in Roanoke City that authorities say are connected.

It all started when Roanoke Fire-EMS was called to a fire at a home on Rorer Avenue Southwest at 3:30 Friday morning. Moments later, they were called to a separate fire just down the street on 14th Street Southwest.

Then around 6 the same morning, Roanoke County police were notified that two people were found dead at the McAfee Knob trailhead parking lot.

What we now know is these incidents are connected.

[READ MORE: 62-year-old man, juvenile found dead after apparent murder-suicide in McAfee Knob trail parking lot, police say]

“All three incidents connected, it just sounds weird,” Katrece Williams, a neighbor said. She woke up Friday morning to her neighbor’s house going up in flames.

What Williams would later learn was how the incident was connected to a gruesome discovery at the McAfee Knob trailhead parking lot.

“Couple of hikers who were passing by the Mcafee knob trailhead parking lot discovered two deceased males in the lot,” Williams said.

Roanoke County police said 62-year-old Lewis James Lambert Jr. and a juvenile, who has not been identified, were found dead in the lot with gunshot wounds. Police said it appears to be a murder-suicide.

One of the individuals was identified as a person of interest in the two Roanoke house fires. The first was at Lambert’s home off Rorer Avenue just after 3 a.m. Shortly after arriving on the scene, Roanoke Fire-EMS was called to a different fire ... right next door to Williams’ home.

“We heard something like a thump or something and then he came out and he saw red, marshals, police all up and through the street,” Williams said.

Williams said she’s thankful her neighbors weren’t hurt.

“The marshals were saying that they think someone threw a fire-bomb or something and it got the door up there but thank god it didn’t get them,” she said.

The bodies found in the McAfee Knob lot were taken to the medical examiner’s office.

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About the Authors:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.