An investigation concluded the 1402 Archer house fire was unintentional and likely caused by faulty wiring, according to the official fire report.
Fire Marshal Jason Crandall confirmed, to his knowledge, that the deceased victim and his dog were the only beings in the structure at the time of the fire. The victim was identified in the fire report as Gene Barrow, 89.
The report states the heat source was electrical arching and the item first ignited was a structural member or framing. The factor contributing to ignition was an “installation deficiency”.
Crandall has been the Fire Marshal for 14 years and has investigated 5 fatality fires. He said most fires like these can be prevented.
“People need working smoke alarms, the first alert is a huge step in getting out,” Crandall said. “All of [the fires] have included poor housekeeping and unsafe practices such as extension cords, makeshift wiring, and smoking in bed or with oxygen on. Most of the fires included age, physical mobility, and alcohol/substance impairment as a factor.”
The house fire at 1402 Archer began around 5 A.M. on Nov. 3. The property was a complete loss, according to the fire report.
The Fire Marshal said with colder weather moving in, safe heating practices are imperative to preventing a house fire.
“People need to practice safe electrical and heating practices and keep areas around heater and appliances clear and clean,” Crandall said.