LOGAN, W.Va. – The state Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled a Monday deadly fire in Logan as accidental.
Investigators said the blaze at a duplex on Canton Lane started as a result of an electrical problem.
The fire claimed the lives of Dontarius Gardner, 3, and Shania Sydney, 4. The brother and sister were unable to make it out of the burning residence. Their mother and her boyfriend did.
Logan firefighters said they were already two steps behind when they received the early morning fire call.
“We had about a four-minute response time,” said firefighter Greg Williams. “By the time our first truck arrived on the scene there was fire showing through the roof and out the windows of the house.”
Williams said it’s likely the fire was not detected right away.
“We believe the fire had been burning for a while even before we got dispatched out to it,” said Williams. “It’s looking like it started in the ceiling of the house. It could have burned for a while before anybody noticed it.”
Williams said adding to the tragedy the house was not equipped with smoke detectors which could have given an earlier warning of the fire. The structure was old and wood framed. It had been divided into a duplex apartment unit.
“We went in and did the best we could,” Williams said. “It was just too late.”
Williams said the residents of the adjoining apartment also got out of the structure without injury.