South Kitsap blaze that killed 4 likely caused by stove or wiring, fire marshal says

PORT ORCHARD — Kitsap County Fire Marshal's Office investigators have found two possible causes for the blaze that engulfed a home and killed four people, including two children, last month.

Investigators determined that the blaze started in a "void space" between the first and second levels of the home, Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam said Tuesday.

That space contained a ventilation stack for the kitchen stove as well as electrical wires. An examination of the wiring didn't reveal any potential causes of the fire, but investigators couldn't rule it out, Lynam said.

Lynam added that investigators also can't rule out the stove being left on, because the controls were destroyed.

The fact that the fire seemed to appear and spread quickly is consistent with a hidden fire, Lynam said. It's possible the fire could have burned for a while between levels. Once the floor or ceiling failed, a blast of oxygen would have helped it spread quickly.

Lynam indicated that the fire alarm in the home appeared to have been installed in the 1970s, when it was built. Investigators couldn't confirm whether the alarm was working.

Vili Simpson, 63, her son Merle, 38, and his children Madison, 2, and Collin, 1, were killed Oct.14 in a fire that engulfed their home on Castlewood Drive in South Kitsap. Vili's husband Donald Simpson was the only person to make it out alive.

Copyright 2017 Kitsap Sun


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