State fire marshal says cause of deadly Pratt house fire ‘undetermined’


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal has released its finding about the cause of a deadly house fire that occurred last month in Pratt.

The Fire Marshal’s Investigation Division has officially ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined.

Five people, including four children and a woman, perished in the fire. Charee Eggleston and her four children, Reece, Timmy, River and Harley died from their injuries.

In a news release, the office said investigators spent three days on scene, interviewing witnesses, examining the scene, sifting debris and examining evidence. After being unable to eliminate careless smoking or a child playing with a lighter as the cause of the fire, the investigative team classified it as undetermined. The origin of the fire was in the basement of the residence in the central living area of the basement. There were no smoke alarms found in the residence.

The fire marshal’s office said its investigative team, which consisted of five certified fire investigators, worked closely with the Pratt Fire Department and detectives from the Pratt Police Department, as well as a certified fire investigator, an electrical engineer and a fire protection engineer from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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