April 1st, 2014, 11:00 pm
Officials continue to investigate Stafford fire that killed child
BY PAMELA GOULD
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Stafford County officials were tight-lipped Tuesday regarding a house fire that killed a child a day earlier.
The Stafford Sheriff’s Office and Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the blaze in the Kings Grant subdivision in the Hartwood area.
An autopsy was conducted on the child at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday, said spokesman Arkuie Williams. The cause of death was “acute thermal and inhalation injury,” Williams said.
In layman’s terms, the cause of death was from burns to the body and to the respiratory passages from the hot smoke, according to a medical expert.
Stafford detectives are conducting the death investigation. The Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Stafford officials have not released the child’s name, age or gender.
On Tuesday, the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department issued a two-sentence statement on the incident, but declined to provide further information.
In addition to noting the two agencies that are investigating, it said that “damage is estimated at $650,000, which includes the home, contents and nearby vehicles.”
No details on the fire, such as point of origin or a general description have been released.
Late Monday night, Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Mark Doyle provided a brief description of the incident and issued a statement.
He said the Fire and Rescue Department dispatched its first units at 2:19 p.m. on Monday to a residential fire on King Daniels Way. While en route, firefighters were told one occupant might still be inside the home, he said.
When the first unit arrived from the Hartwood volunteer fire station, firefighters found fire throughout the first and second floors of the single-family home and initially had to operate in a “defensive mode,” Doyle said.
They could not initially enter the house because of the “excessive heat, fire conditions and structural collapse,” he said. Once they were able to enter, they found the child, who had already died, Doyle said.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972