POTTSVILLE (AP) — Investigators in eastern Pennsylvania say a house fire that claimed the lives of six members of a family on Mother’s Day was accidental.
Chief Todd March of the Pottsville fire department told The (Pottsville) Republican-Herald that the May 12 fire began in a kitchen on the second floor of the Pottsville home and spread up the stairs to the third floor, where all six victims were found.
Killed were Eric Brown, 31; his sister-in-law, Kristina Thomas, 26; and Brown’s children: Elijah Brown, 2; Emily Brown, 3; Jeremiah Brown, 7; and Joy Brown, 8.
Dr. David Moylan, the Schuylkill County coroner, said all six victims died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.
The blaze appeared to have started on the kitchen floor, March said, and there was no problem with the wood stove or chimney that would have caused the fire.
Officials said the home didn’t have working smoke detectors at the time of the fire.