ELKINS, W.Va. — The mother of the 4 children who died in the Oct. 28 house fire in Elkins has also died. The state Fire Marshal’s Office said Jennifer Chamberlain died Tuesday morning at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh becoming the fire’s sixth victim.
Chamberlain, 34, and her brother Jeff Hyre have been at West Penn since shortly after the blaze. Hyre was released from the hospital Monday.
The early morning fire on Central Street also claimed the lives of Jennifer Chamberlain’s husband, Alan, 29, and her 4 children, Isabella Grace “Bella” Chamberlain, 4, twins Alanna Faith “Lana” Chamberlain, 2, and Brianna Hope “Brie” Chamberlain, 2, and Katherine Claire “Kate” Bolgar, 11.
Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office have said the fire began on the side porch of the house where a couch was located.
“We can tell the origin was a corner next to the couch where the family smoked and they had been smoking there the night before,” Assistant State Fire Marshal Mackey Ayersman told MetroNews last week.
Ayersman and others ruled out arson or electrical problems as possible causes.
Randolph County School Board member Harvey Taylor said Tuesday community fundraising efforts would pay for Jennifer Chamberlain’s funeral expenses. The expenses from the 5 other victims have already been taken care of through fundraising. Taylor said an auction and cake walk in Mill Creek last Saturday raised more than $50,000.