ELKINS, W.Va. — A cigarette is now believed to be the cause of the deadly fire in Elkins which left five people dead and two still hospitalized.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin made the revelation in an op-ed column released Friday which indicated the state Fire Marshal made the determination, although the official cause hadn’t been officially released by the office.
“West Virginia leads all other states for its fire fatality rate, according to the latest federal figures. West Virginians are more than three times more likely to die in a fire than the general U.S. population,” wrote Tomblin.
“These tragedies are also often preventable. Investigators say the home in Elkins had no working smoke detectors. Investigators also suspect that a cigarette may have sparked this fire. Careless smoking is a major cause of fires in the home.”
Jennifer Chamberlain, 34, and her brother Jeff Hyre remain at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh recovering form injuries suffered in the fire. Chamberlain’s husband and four children have all died of injuries from the blaze.