Monday, February 10, 2020

Faulty Wiring Caused Clinton Fire

Insurance Commish Mike Chaney issued the following statement. 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is investigating a house fire on Old Vicksburg Road in Clinton that killed seven people in the early hours of Saturday, February 8, 2020.

SFMO investigators have determined the fire was accidental and electrical in nature. It appears the fire started in the attic of the home. It also appears there were no working smoke alarms in the home. Without smoke alarms, there was no early detection and it may have prevented the victims from getting out in time. SFMO investigators believe metal bars on the windows of the home played a small role in the deaths. 

“This is a tragic situation. The family of the victims have my sincere condolences,” said State Fire Marshal and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

Kingfish note: County property tax records state the home is owned by Paulette Horne of Terry. 


Anonymous said...

This is all to sad on so many levels! Terrible, Terrible, Terrible. I'm hanging my head to cry.

For want of greed the nail was left out. Previous Home owner not fixing bad wiring & installing a single smoke detector. Hell, you can get smoke detectors for free at fire stations....

For want of a nail the battle was lost. nail = smoke detector
For want of the battle my kingdom was lost. kingdom = family

Anonymous said...

How about we all go check our smoke detectors tonight rather than cast blame?

Anonymous said...

No, we CAN cast blame. The owner should have installed smoke detectors, period. They are low cost and even free from the fire department.

Metal bars on the windows are great to keep burglars out and also to trap people in. Shameful behavior by the owner of the house.

Anonymous said...

Please install smoke detectors and at least one carbon monoxide detector.
Make sure elderly and young adults have these too with new batteries. They are very inexpensive or free.
No excuses - just do it.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:18: Why do you believe the previous home owner is to blame for not having smoke detectors? You MUST be a broke lawyer looking for a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

I’ll be accused of victim blaming but here goes. Is there any responsibility on the parents to make sure there’s working smoke detectors in the home to protect your family? Or will we gloss over this part because the father’s loss is so tragic and there’s no pound of flesh left of him to take?

Anonymous said...

@5:04, this was a RENTAL.

Anonymous said...

The amoothbrain @5:04
Every heard of a landlord?

Anonymous said...

Still can’t blame the owner for everything. A rat could have chewed the wire you don’t know. A smoke detector may have been in there but maybe the kids broke it who knows. Do the tenant not have any responsibility??? Always got to blame someone else.

Anonymous said...

No escape burglar bars are the blame of the owner

Anonymous said...

9:34 PM Your 100 % correct.
Remember. Landlord going to get a fat insurance check to put in bank.

(1.) SFMO investigators believe metal bars on the windows of the home played a small role in the deaths. Cause for suit against Paulette Horne.
(2.) Should supply & have a clause in rental agreement to have working smoke detector. Cause for suit against Paulette Horne.
(3.) Electrical wiring check by licensed electrician. Cause for suit against Paulette Horne.
OK. All you heavy hitting lawyers go after this Slumdog landlord. Hell, do it pro bono.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, It's going to cost a boat load of money to bury 7 individuals.
R.I.P. Presley Family.

Anonymous said...

Most people don’t realize that even if the security bars have deadbolts, they often do not meet local code. The 2006 International Residential Code, which is considered dated, but still used by Madison County, specifically states that security bars cannot require a key or special tool to open. For the record, I have no idea what the City of Clinton has adopted for their standards. No shortage of entities to share blame in these types of terrible situations. But instead of trying to find someone to blame, use this as a lesson to help your family’s chances in a fire. Make sure you have smoke detectors and extinguishers handy. I showed my wife tonight how to work our extinguishers in the kitchen, and my kids will get the lesson tomorrow. They will know about the two under the sink and the one in the garage. We can all use horrible situations like this to prevent other tragedies, instead of blaming a grieving dad or a “slumlord” that owns (owned) one rental house that appears to have been inherited.

Anonymous said...

I viewed the Facebook pages of both parents. They were obviously immersed in and dedicated to interaction with their children. I could not survive this, even if I were able to get up and walk out of the hospital to attend the seven-person funeral service. Who among us could? Tragedy all the way around times 8.

I have no idea what the legal requirements were for the landlord. I'll leave that to others.

Anonymous said...

Home inspections could help. Insurance companies still pay bad electricians after a house burns down. Seen it too many times. Cooked off a heat pump breaker in Madison just the other day running both heat pumps simultaneously when it’s a million dollar, recently “remodeled” home. It’s a miracle more homes don’t catch on fire due to the people who do work on them.

Anonymous said...

Please stop putting CO alarms on the ceiling. You die by the time CO reaches that high. Sick of seeing this in houses.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:16 Well said! Please no victim-blaming. This man lost his entire family that he loved and adored.

Use this as a lesson to help prevent other tragedies. I checked my smoke detectors because of this, and much to my surprise NONE of them were working, not even the one that is hard-wired into the house (I don't understand the logic of hard-wiring one into the house, but that is a discussion for another time). Needless to say, I was shocked. It is all too easy to just assume they are working. I immediately bought new ones and replaced them all.

Anonymous said...

8:55...Mine beep with low or exhausted battery. Why didn't yours. Hope your replacements will.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, all structures need a detector up high in the eve of attic & crawl spaces to be totally effective. Those inside your home are adequate for fires started (below the ceilings) in kitchens, floor heaters and the like.

Anonymous said...

He didn't say they didn't show low battery. He said they didn't work. They can have full power, but be full of dust, with degraded components. They can even "pass" the test which is just checking the circuit and beeper. Great to have working batteries UNLESS you assume they are working. They may not be, and you and/or your family could die as a result of that assumption.

Consumer Reports: "The life expectancy of smoke alarms is generally 10 years (max), after which point their sensors can begin to lose sensitivity.

The test button only confirms that the battery, electronics, and alert system are working; it doesn’t mean that the smoke sensor is working.

To test the sensor, use an aerosol can of smoke alarm test spray that simulates smoke.

But even if the 17-year-old smoke alarms in your homes can still detect smoke, we recommend replacing them with new models."

A landlord should be testing them that way, and remember that they have lot numbers and dates on the labels.

Been in my house 20 years. All the detectors have been replaced twice or more. Several have failed. Redundancy is key.

See that line: it doesn't mean the smoke detector is working, even if the "test" passes.

And more modern detectors, such as Nest, are NETWORKED, so that they set off the other detectors and have more sophisticated sensing.

They can even send an alert to your cell, so if you are out in the yard or away you can act (such as calling your family, calling 911, or calling a neighbor).

So, if your kid has headphones on at the other side of the house, the networked one will go off in his room. Or you will get yours going off in the MBR if it's the kid's or baby's room.

And nowadays, it matters. Research has shown that new homes burn up to eight times faster than older homes. What this means is that people have less time to get out of a house when a fire starts - a lot less time.

So, even though this was an older home, new homes can give as little as 3 to 4 MINUTES to get out. Try getting 5 kids out in that time in smoke, heat, and dark.

God bless their souls. What a shame.

Again, The test button only confirms that the battery, electronics, and alert system are working; it doesn’t mean that the smoke sensor is working. You test that with smoke. So, hire my wife to cook every 6 months.

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