Investigators say child caused fire that killed five

February 27, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Jan. 30 fire that left four children and a woman dead was started by a child who accidentally set a chair on fire and was made worse when an adult tried to get the burning piece of furniture out of the house, investigators have determined.

Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, a Fire Department spokesman, said officials could not determine how the child -- who died in the blaze -- set the fire that burned out the rowhouse in the 100 block of E. Biddle St.

But after family members discovered the burning chair in the living room, Chief Torres said one tried to "remove the chair from the premises" and in doing so, "may have contributed to this fire escalating to the point that it did."

No one died the day of the fire, but five children were critically injured. Three suffered third-degree burns on their bodies.

Deasean Martin-Bailey, 3, and Trevon Jackson, 10 months, died the day after the fire. Erica Page, 10, and Tiara Jackson, 10, died a few days later. Jacqueline McKoy, 21, died last week. Still hospitalized yesterday at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center was Tiffany Miller, 6. Three other people suffered less severe injuries.

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