UPDATE: 6th Person Dies after Fire in Randolph County

By: WSAZ News Staff,Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: WSAZ News Staff,Jennifer Rizzi Email
The fire happened on October 28 at a home on Central Street in Elkins, in Randolph County.

Courtesy WV Metro News

UPDATE 11/12/13 @ 12 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A sixth person has died after a fire in Randolph County late last month.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office confirms that Jennifer Chamberlain, 34, passed away Tuesday morning at a burn center in Pennsylvania.

The fire happened on October 28 at a home on Central Street in Elkins.

Her four children, 11-year-old Katie Bolgar, 4-year-old Isabella Chamberlain and 2-year-old twins Brianna and Alanna Chamberlain, and husband, 29-year-old Alan Chamberlain, also died from injuries they sustained in the fire.

Chamberlain's brother, Jeff Hyde, is the sole survivor in the fire. He was released from the hospital Monday.

The state Fire Marshal's Office has said the fire began in a couch on a side porch. The cause hasn't been determined but the Fire Marshal's Office has said there's no evidence the fire was intentionally set.



UPDATE 11/12/13 @ 10:18 a.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) - A man injured in a fire that killed five family members in Elkins has been released from the hospital.

West Penn Hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Waite and Karen Hyde tell media outlets that Jeff Hyde was released from West Penn Burn Center in Pennsylvania on Monday. Karen Hyde is Jeff Hyde's mother.

Waite and Karen Hyde say Jeff Hyde's sister, Jennifer Chamberlain, remains at the burn center in critical condition.

Chamberlain's four children and her husband, 29-year-old Alan Chamberlain, died from injuries suffered in the fire.

The fire occurred Oct. 28.

The state Fire Marshal's Office has said the fire began in a couch on a side porch. The cause hasn't been determined but the Fire Marshal's Office has said there's no evidence the fire was intentionally set.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/6/13 @ 10:25 a.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) - The State Fire Marshal's Office says a house fire that killed five people in Elkins began in a couch on a side porch.

The Fire Marshal's Office says there's no evidence the fire was intentionally set.

Four children and an adult died from injuries suffered in the Oct. 28 fire.

The victims included 11-year-old Katie Bolgar, 29-year-old Alan Chamberlain and his three children, 4-year-old Isabella Chamberlain and 2-year-old twins Brianna and Alanna Chamberlain.

The children's mother and uncle, 34-year-old Jennifer Chamberlain and her brother, Jeff Hyde, remain hospitalized at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.

An obituary posted on Randolph Funeral Home's website says a funeral service for the victims will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Elkins Church of God.



UPDATE 11/5/13 @ 5:21 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) - The father of one of four children killed in a West Virginia house fire says his daughter's donated organs are keeping three transplant patients alive, so she continues to bring joy to other families.

Dmitriy Bolgar, of northern Virginia, said during a Monday night vigil in Elkins that 11-year-old Katie Bolgar's liver went to a 1-year-old girl. Her kidneys went to two other people. All are doing well.

The Associated Press reports hundreds paid their respects to Katie Bolgar, 29-year-old Alan Chamberlain and his three children, 4-year-old Isabella Chamberlain and 2-year-old twins Brianna and Alanna Chamberlain. They died in the Oct. 28 fire in Elkins, in Randolph County.

The children's mother and uncle - 34-year-old Jennifer Chamberlain and her brother, Jeff Hyde - remain at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/4/13 @ 11:45 a.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ & AP) - A candlelight vigil will be held Monday night in Elkins for the victims of a house fire that killed five people and injured two others.

The fire happened on October 28 at a home on Central Street in Elkins, in Randolph County.

Elkins Mayor Van Broughton tells The Inter-Mountain that the vigil is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at the Elkins Depot.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has released the names of some of the victims: Alan Chamberlain, 29; his daughter, Brianna Chamberlain, 2; Catherine Bolgar, 11, Brianna’s half sister. The fire also claimed the lives of Brianna’s twin and a 4-year-old sister.

The mother of the children and her adult brother are still at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin released an op-ed column late last week saying a cigarette may have started the fire.



UPDATE 11/02/13 @ 8:50 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A cigarette is being blamed for a house fire that killed a man and four children, and has left two others in the hospital.

The deadly fire happened Monday morning at the family's house on Central Street in Elkins.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin revealed in an op-ed column, Friday that a cigarette may be to blame.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating the fire, and an official cause has not yet been released.

Tomblin also said that West Virginia is the leading state when it comes to fire fatality rates.

"West Virginians are more than three times more likely to die in a fire than the general U.S. population," Tomblin said.



UPDATE 10/31/13 @ 12 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There are no signs that a fire that killed five people, and injured two, was intentionally set, according to the Randolph County Prosecutor's Office.

The fire happened about 4:30 Monday morning on Central Street in Elkins.

According to a new release sent out Wednesday, Prosecutor Michael Parker said, "Although the investigation is ongoing, we have not found anything at the present time to indicate the tragedy was the result of a criminal act."

Investigators believe the fire started on the front porch of the house and spread into the living room, blocking all escape routes.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office released the names of some of the victims Wednesday afternoon: Alan Chamberlain, 29; his daughter, Brianna Chamberlain, 2; Catherine Bolgar, 11, Brianna’s half sister. The fire also claimed the lives of Brianna’s twin and a 4-year-old sister.

The mother of the children and her adult brother were still in critical condition at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon.



UPDATE 10/30/13 @ 2:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed the identities of three of the five people who died in an Elkins house fire.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Mark Lambert says 29-year-old Alan Chamberlain died Tuesday night at the West Penn Burn Center in Pennsylvania.

His 2-year-old daughter Brianna Chamberlain and her half-sister, 11-year-old Catherine Bolgar, also died there Tuesday.

Brianna's twin and a 4-year-old sister died at an Elkins hospital.

The children's mother and an adult male who was also present when the fire began remain at the burn center.

Lambert says investigators have finished working at the scene but have not yet revealed the cause of the fire.

Elkins Fire Chief Tom Meader says the fire blocked the house's main exits. The only smoke detector didn't have batteries.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 10/30/13 @ 9:35 a.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A 5th person has died following a fire in Randolph County, West Virginia.

The fire happened about 4:30 a.m. Monday at a home on Central Street in Elkins.

The State Fire Marshal's Office tells WSAZ.com that an adult male died Tuesday evening at a burn center in Pennsylvania.

They say the man was the father of the four children who have died from smoke inhalation from the fire.

His cause of death has not been released at this time.

The mother of the children, along with another adult male are still being treated in the burn center. No word on their conditions.

Investigators were on scene Tuesday trying to piece together what caused the fire.

Officials said the fire blocked the exits to the home and they only found one smoke detector that did not have batteries.

No names have been released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 10/29/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A fourth child has died following a fire in Randolph County, according to officials with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office.

Officials have yet to release any further details on the latest victim.

The fire happened about 4:30 a.m. Monday at a home on Central Street in Elkins.

Three adults are still hospitalized at a burn center in Pennsylvania.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 10/29/13 @ 4:45 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A third child has died after a fire in Randolph County, according to officials with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office.

The fire happened about 4:30 a.m. Monday at a home on Central Street in Elkins.

Investigators say a two-year-old and four-year-old died in the fire.

The State Fire Marshal's Office confirms a third child has died. Investigators say the child is a twin of the two-year-old who died.

They say all three children died of smoke inhalation.

Three other people are still being treated at a burn center in Pennsylvania. Officials with the State Fire Marshal's Office says they are three adults and a child.

Investigators were on scene Tuesday trying to piece together what caused the fire.

Officials said the fire blocked the exits to the home and they only found one smoke detector that did not have batteries.

No names have been released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 10/28/13 @ 5:45 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Emergency managers are hoping to reverse a deadly trend in house fires they see time and time again.

They say having a working smoke detector in your home reduces your chances of dying in a fire by half.

"At least it gives you some kind of early warning," said C.W. Sigman, fire coordinator for Kanawha County.

Monday morning, two children were killed by fire that destroyed a home on Central Street in Elkins, in Randolph County. Five others were injured.

No working smoke detectors were found in that home.

The same holds true for another tragic fire last week in Logan County that left two other children dead.

But just having a smoke detector won't help if it's not installed properly.

In March 2012, the deadliest fire in Charleston's history left eight people dead in a home on Arlington Avenue. First responders say a smoke detector was present in the home but wasn't installed correctly.

"You need it in a living area, a sleeping area, and optimally, all bedrooms," Sigman said.

Emergency managers say all batteries should be working and should be replaced every time you change your clocks.

Sigman says his office is getting a $6,000 grant from the county to give out smoke detectors free of charge. He says they'll come directly to your home to install one.

"We don't want them laying on the counter or sitting in a car when we give them away," he said. "We want to put them inside the house where they're going to work and maybe save a life."

To get a smoke detector, you can call the Kanawha County Office of Emergency Management at 304-746-7911.



ORIGINAL STORY 10/28/13 @ 9:45 a.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two children were killed and five other people injured in an early morning fire in Elkins, W.Va. .

The fire happened about 4:30 Monday morning at a home on Central Street.

A woman inside the home called 911 and reported she and six others were trapped and all exits were blocked by fire.

According to our media partner WV Metro News, Elkins Fire Chief Tom Meader said firemen got the fire under control in about 45 minutes and managed to get the victims out the front door.

Chief Meader says one adult male was in a bedroom with twin children, the mother was in another bedroom with two more children and one adult was sleeping in the basement.

The State Fire Marshals Office tells WSAZ.com that two children died in the fire and five other people were injured.

“We had four children and three adults,” Meader said on the MetroNews Morning News. “Two of the victims were deceased, they are both kids, but I don’t know their ages. I’m waiting on the fire marshal on the identities and ages of the other victims at West Penn (Burn Center).”

The State Fire Marshals Office says three adults and two children were flown to a Pennsylvania burn center.

A neighbor called 911 after he told WV Metro News when he heard the fire. Randy England said, "It was four o'clock in the morning when I normally get up and get ready to go to work and I heard this loud noise. A really big kaboom. I ran out on the front porch and that's when I saw flames so I grabbed a hold of my phone and I called 911. And the whole front of the house, the porch, everything was engulfed in flames. And I got to the front of the house...so much heat. I started banging on the house and just started shouting and hollering to get anybody's attention then the emergency squad showed up. They responded that fast."

No word at this time what started the fire.

The State Fire Marshals Office has a crew on the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


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