The cause of a Pratt fire that killed five family members in late January is still undetermined, according to the office of the state fire marshal.
The office has closed its investigation of the fire and officially classified the cause as undetermined, according to a news release.
The investigative team were “unable to eliminate careless smoking or a child playing with a lighter as the cause of fire,” according to a news release, issued by Jill Bronaugh, public information manager for the office of the state fire marshal in Topeka.
The fire started in the living area of the basement at 211 Austin in Pratt on Jan. 25. The state fire marshal’s investigative team, with five investigators, a certified fire investigator, electrical engineer and a fire protection engineer from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spent three days on the scene.
No smoke alarms were found in the residence.
Four children – Reece, Timmy, River and Harley Wheatley –mdied after being trapped in the basement of the home. Their mother, Charee Wheatley, was flown to Wichita with severe burns over her body and died two days later.