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Extension Cord Caused Fire That Killed 5 Children: Probe

Agencies find the blaze was accidental
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2019 6:35 PM CDT
Mark Polanski investigates a fire that killed five children in Erie in August.   (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP, File)

(Newser) – Investigators are blaming an electrical extension cord for a fire that killed five small children two months ago in Pennsylvania. The investigative team said Thursday that the deadly Aug. 11 fire at the Erie home that included the Harris Family Daycare was caused by an electrical failure associated with the routinely used cord, the AP reports. The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced the 1 a.m. blaze began in the first-floor living room. The Erie Times-News says two older boys escaped with minor injuries by crawling onto a roof. The homeowner was injured and required hospital treatment.

Investigators searched the property, and electrical items were examined at a bureau laboratory in Maryland. "After a complete analysis of all the data collected, the fire was determined to be accidental," the investigating agencies said, per KDKA. (A firefighter was out on a false alarm when his three children were killed in the blaze.)


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