The cause of a VanMeter Road fire that claimed three lives on Sunday night has been discovered, according to Fire Marshall Chris Crawford.
After a thorough investigation of the mobile home, Crawford determined that the fire was entirely accidental and originated with a light fixture in the kitchen.
“It was not an electrical failure,” Crawford said. “Radiant heat off of the fixture broke down and caused a failure in the ceiling panel and then the material became ignitable.”
Megan Overton Poole, one of the four survivors, said on Friday that she was glad Crawford had proved that the tragic fire was accidental.
Poole said that the entire home was engulfed in flames in a matter of just a few minutes, and credited her 18-year-old son, Jerry Poole, III, with saving her life and those of the other two survivors, Shauna Clouse and her three-year-old son Ayden.
Clouse’s husband, Eddie, her one-year-old son, Cole, and family friend Kalvin King died in the blaze.
“He’s sorry he couldn’t get the other three out,” Megan Poole said. “It’s been a nightmare and it’s still a nightmare for my son.”
“I pulled those three out,” Jerry Poole said of his mother and the surviving members of the Clouse family. “I tried my best.”
Crawford said that the most effective way for others to avoid the tragic loss of life in fires like this one is to”make sure you have working smoke detectors and you’re checking those batteries.”
“It saves lives, there’s no doubt about it.”