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News Release

Contact: Kevin R. Malone
1399 American Pacific Dr.
Henderson, Nevada 89014
Office: (702) 486-1311
Pager: (702) 598-8926

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          September 1, 1999
NEWS FROM: State Fire Marshal     99-152


McMurry St. Fire Ruled Accidental

Faulty Wiring and Disabled Smoke Detectors Caused Fatalities

The Nevada State Fire Marshal's Office in Pahrump has ruled out foul play in a fire Sunday afternoon which claimed two lives. Two children, ages 8 and 1, died in the fire. Two adults and another child, age 4, escaped the flames and heavy smoke. Names and further information on the victims will not be released by the Fire Marshal as the formal investigation continues.

Separate preliminary investigations by two Deputy State Fire Marshals traced the origin of the blaze to the same point, faulty electrical wiring in the home's living room.

Another factor which contributed to the deaths was the lack of working smoke detectors. A smoke detector placed in the kitchen/living room area had been disabled.

"If there is anything I would like to get out about this case, it's that all homes should have working smoke detectors," said Deputy Fire Marshal Tony Cappucci. "If cooking fumes from your kitchen or smoke from tobacco sets the detector off, then relocate it.. Do not disable a smoke detector."

Cappucci says the deaths of the two children in this case could have been prevented had the smoke detector been working.