Smoke inhalation killed some victims in Atlanta house fire

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 10:49 AM
Smoke inhalation killed some victims in Atlanta house fire

ATLANTA (AP) — Smoke inhalation led to the deaths of at least four of six people killed in an Atlanta house fire, a county medical examiner said Thursday as some of their names were released.

All four deaths have been classified as accidental, Fulton County Medical Examiner's investigator James Bartlett told The Associated Press.

Bartlett identified four of the people killed Monday as 62-year-old Gene Spurley Sr.; 46-year-old Velma Rivers; 49-year-old Anthony Jones; and 54-year-old Anthony Brown.

The medical examiner has yet to release the identities of two other victims and their causes of death.

Investigators are still trying to determine what started the blaze that destroyed much of the home on the city's northwest side, Atlanta Fire Rescue Sgt. Cortez Stafford said Thursday.

"We don't have any indication at this point that it was arson or any type of suspicious fire, but through the investigation things can change," Stafford said.

On Wednesday, fire crews returned to the charred house on Andrews Street to install smoke detectors in homes in the neighborhood and batteries for those who needed new ones, Stafford said. Atlanta firefighters undertake such efforts, which they call a "Save-A-Life Blitz,' after deadly fires.

"It's undetermined yet if that house had smoke alarms, but we still go and canvas the neighborhood to remind folks," Stafford said.

Heat for the home that burned was provided by space heaters and the homeowner regularly allowed people to stay when they were down on their luck, neighbors said shortly after the fire.