Investigation closes in fire that killed Pratt mother and 4 children; no cause determined

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PRATT, Kan. (WIBW) -- The investigation into the deadly fire that killed a Pratt woman and her four children in late January has been officially closed, the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal said.

Investigators were not able to discover what sparked the January 25th blaze at 211 Austin Street and have classified it as undetermined.

Charee Wheatley's children, Reece, Timmy, River and Harley, died in the fire and Charee passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning two days later at the hospital. Pratt police said they were trapped in the basement when the fire broke out.

The Fire Marshal's Office said their investigators spent three days on the scene, examining evidence, sifting through debris, and interviewing witnesses. They determine the fire started in the basement of the home in the central living area.

No fire alarms were found in the house, investigators noted.

Five certified fire investigators made up the investigative team. They worked with members of the Pratt Fire Dept. and Pratt Police Dept., as well as a fire investigator, electrical engineer, and fire protection engineer from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.