Hot Ashes a Likely Cause of Fatal Fire

Hot Ashes a Likely Cause of Fatal Fire


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PARAGONAH, Utah (AP) -- Ashes from a wood stove may have started a mobile-home fire that killed two people and two dogs.

Hot Ashes a Likely Cause of Fatal Fire

"It looks like they cleaned the ashes out and left them too close to combustibles and started the house on fire," Iron County Fire Warden Ryan Riddle.

The bodies of Rondo and Sandra Welch, both in their 60s, were found in the mobile home, which burned Wednesday.

Rondo Welch had a fire extinguisher in his hand, Riddle said.

Johnny and John Holt drove past the place on the way to feed their mules. Things looked fine then, but on their way back, about 30 minutes later, the mobile home was ablaze, Johnny Holt said.

They called 911.

"We tried to go in after people," Johnny Holt said, but the smoke and flames were overwhelming.

A neighbor, Gerald Wolf, said the windows of the mobile home blew out. He tried pounding on the walls, but could hear only fire.

It took three fire departments about two hours to control the blaze. One body was found in the back of the home and the other in the kitchen area.

Autopsies will determine the cause of death, but Riddle said it was likely smoke inhalation.

------ Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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