Wichita Mobile Home Death Fire Cause Announced

By: KAKE (posted by Greg Palmer)
By: KAKE (posted by Greg Palmer)

WICHITA, Kan. Investigators say careless smoking was responsible for a fire that left four people dead and three others hurt.

The fire broke out in the early morning hours of November 26 at a double-wide mobile home in the 600 block of North Goebel. Seven people were inside when the fire started, but only three made it out.

Yesterday, investigators determined the cause to be accidental by way of careless smoking. Captain Stu Bevis with Wichita Fire investigations said several occupants had been smoking the night before in the living room. A chair in that room caught fire, then spread.

Bevis said the fire was already in an advanced stage when it was discovered. Investigators don't believe the smoke detector in the mobile home was functional.

The victims were later identified as Amanda Nichols, 21, and her one-year-old son Isaaca. Also killed were Camaron McGowan, 27, and his 2-year-old son, K'Dyn. Autopsy reports are still pending, but preliminary results indicate they died of smoke inhalation.

The fire caused about $50,000 in damage to structure and $20,000 to contents.

The fire was investigated by the Wichita Fire Department, Wichita Police Department, the Kansas Fire Marshal's Office and the ATF.

There have been 10 fire fatalities in Wichita so far this year. There were five in 2012.


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