No smoke detectors in Warren fire that kills 4

Staff report


Two adults and two children died in an early morning house fire on the northwestern part of the city.

The fire broke out about 3:30 a.m. at 160 Austin Ave. Northwest and firefighters were called by an occupant.

"The caller indicated she was burning up so the firefighters knew they had occupants," said Fire Chief Ken Nussle.

When firefighters arrived two minutes after the call, the entire second floor of the home was engulfed and flames were in the first floor kitchen, the chief said.

Once inside, firefighters did a search and found a 32-year-old man, a 38-year-old woman and two children, ages 9 and 13, deceased, Nussle said.

"We don't know where it originated, but it did spread rapidly," he said.

The department's investigative unit and the state fire marshal are continuing their investigations into the origin and cause of the blaze, Nussle said.

"No working smoke detectors were found," he said.

The chief said this morning's fire has similarities to a fatal fire in the city that occurred last June 16 on Landsdowne Avenue Northwest, which killed two adults and four children.

"They're very similar in nature. You have a large loss of life and both started in the early morning," Nussle said, and in both cases there weren't working smoke detectors.

The same crew that responded to the Landsdowne fire also was on duty this morning.

"It was the same team. They've encountered 10 fatalities in two fires," Nussle said.

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