CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Department of Fire and EMS have determined the cause of a house fire in April that left six people dead including four children.
Chesterfield Fire officials also identified the sixth victim as 70-year-old Linda Carlton who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said the cause of the fire was smoking-related and originated on Carlton’s bed.
“Nationally and locally, smoking-related incidents continue to be the highest cause of home fire deaths,” Chesterfield Fire and EMS said in their release.
When firefighters arrived on the scene in the 9900 block of Glass Road on April 16, they found heavy fire from the first-floor window and immediately went into rescue mode. A neighbor had called 911.
A second and third alarm was called after hearing from neighbors that there were multiple people trapped inside. Crews requested five additional ambulances.
Crews found multiple victims on the first and second floor of the home. Four people were rescued out of a second floor window. The incident was marked under control at 1:53 a.m. The home did have working fire alarms, officials said.
Aside from Carlton, other victims include Corrine Wright, 30, Aubrey Wright, 12, Aniyah Seaborne, 8, Juliane Seaborne, 5, and Ariabella Seaborne, 2.
In an interview with 8News on April 19, Michelle Capell identified Carlton as her grandmother. According to Capell, the home on Glass Road was owned by Carlton.
In addition to her grandmother, Capell also lost her 30-year-old cousin, Corinne Wright. Capell shared that Wright’s two children also tragically died in the blaze.
“Her oldest daughter that died was 12 and the youngest daughter was 2,” Capell cried.
In addition to not smoking in bed and properly discarding smoking materials, authorities advise that people make sure they follow these safety guidelines to avoid fires:
- Making sure you have working smoke alarms in your home and they are installed in proper locations.
- Having a home escape plan with two identified exit paths and practicing that plan regularly with all that live in your home. Once out, stay out.
- Calling 911 immediately when a fire breaks out.