UPDATE: 6 People Dead Following Elkins Fire - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: 6 People Dead Following Elkins Fire

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Update: 11/12/13

Jennifer Chamberlain, the mother of the children who died following a fire in Elkins on Oct. 28, died Nov. 12 at the West Penn Burn Center, according to the WV State Fire Marshal.

Update: 11/11/13

Jeff Hyde, one of the two surviving victims of the Elkins house fire that occurred on Oct. 28 has been discharged from the West Penn Burn Center, according to West Penn Hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Waite.

Jennifer Chamberlain still remains in critical condition at the center.

Update: 11/5/13

Two people still remain in the West Penn Burn Center after last week's deadly fire in Elkins.

Jennifer Chamberlain is in critical condition, and Jeff Hyde is in serious condition.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said it has determined that the origin of the fire was in a couch on the side porch at the house and said that it has found no indication or evidence that the fire was intentionally set.  

The fire claimed the lives of five people, four of them were children.

The Randolph Funeral Home in Elkins will hold funeral services Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Elkins Church of God, with the funeral to follow. A private graveside service will be held at a later time.

Residents in Randolph County continue to find ways to show their support to family members who've lost so much.

Several fundraiser's are to take place over the next few weeks.

A bake sale will be held Saturday morning at the Valley Point Mall. A cake walk will be held later that night at George Ward Elementary.

The First Baptist Church will hold a spaghetti dinner on November 16. There will be a chicken burn November 23 and a bingo bash at the Beverly Fire Hall on November 30.


Governor Earl Ray Tomblin stated in his column on Friday, Nov. 1 that a cigarette may have started a fire that killed four children, and one adult on Monday in Elkins.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office haven't released a report into the cause of the fire.  Two surviving victims, Jennifer Chamberlain, 34, and Jeff Hyde remain at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. Chamberlain is currently in critical condition and Hyde is currently in serious condition.

Tomblin said the death toll from fires in West Virginia since Jan. 1 now exceeds 50.

"West Virginia leads all other states for its fire fatality rate, according to the latest federal figures. West Virginians are more than three times more likely to die in a fire than the general U.S. population," said Tomblin.

"These tragedies are also often preventable. Investigators say the home in Elkins had no working smoke detectors. Investigators also suspect that a cigarette may have sparked this fire. Careless smoking is a major cause of fires in the home. So is leaving stoves unattended while cooking, overloading electrical outlets and not following the safety rules and instructions for home heating devices," Tomblin said.

Tomblin recommends replacing alarm batteries once a year, such as when you turn your clocks back for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday, Nov. 3.  


The State Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed the seven names of the victims of the fire that occurred in Elkins Monday morning. The names were originally released by the Elkins Fire Chief.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said Alan Chamberlain, 29, Catherine Bolgar, 11, Alanna Chamberlain, 2, Brianna Chamberlain, 2, and Isabella Chamberlain, 4, all died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire.

Two surviving victims, Jennifer Chamberlain, 34, and Jeff Hyde remain at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. They are both listed in critical condition.

The Randolph County Prosecutor's Office said the investigation is ongoing, but that it hasn't found any evidence suggesting criminal conduct.

A memorial is set up at the home on Central Street. Funeral arraignments are incomplete.

A fundraiser for the family will be held Saturday, November 9 at George-Ward Elementary School in Mill Creek. There will be a cake walk, 50/50 drawing and an auction. That benefit will get started at 6 p.m. To learn more about how you can help, click here.


A fourth child died Tuesday at West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, succumbing to her injuries from Monday morning's fire in Elkins, according to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office. The child was an 11-year-old girl, officials said.

A fifth person, an adult, has also died at West Penn Burn Center, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office. The names of the remaining two victims have not been released yet.

Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker released a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the ongoing investigation of the Central Street fire. "Although the investigation is ongoing, we have not found anything at the present time to indicate that this tragedy was the result of a criminal act," said Parker, "We have utilized all resources at our disposal to investigate this tragic fire and the investigation has benefited from the collaborative efforts of the W.Va. State Fire Marshal's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Elkins Fire Department, the Elkins Police Department, and the Randolph County Sheriff's Office."

Parker went on to say that numerous other agencies have offered assistance and support, including the West Virginia State Police. "I am encouraged that all agencies involved have been working diligently and in conjunction with each other to provide the type of investigation that is warranted by such a tragedy. As we continue the investigation, our thoughts are with the surviving family members as they deal with such a painful loss," said Parker.


A third child died Tuesday at West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh following a house fire in Elkins Monday morning, according to Elkins Fire Chief Tom Meader.

Chief Meader said the child was 2 years old and was the twin of the other 2-year-old that died Monday. A 4-year-old also died at the scene Monday, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.

The remaining four victims are still at the West Penn Burn Center with unknown injuries. Their names are not being released at this time, according to Chief Meader.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office, as well as investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were at the scene Tuesday while they continue to investigate the fire. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigators asked to bring certified fire investigators to try to determine the cause of the fire, Chief Meader said.

The investigation is ongoing.


The Elkins Fire Department said that a 2-year-old child was one of two people that died in a house fire in Elkins early Monday morning.  The other person was a 4-year-old child, said the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Several helicopters flew the remaining five people, after being prepared at Davis Memorial Hospital, to West Penn Burn Center in Pennsylvania. 

Meader said they mostly suffered from smoke inhalation and some flash burns. The conditions of the remaining five people are unknown at this time.  The fire blocked exits of the home for family members to escape, and no working smoke detectors were found, Meader said.  

Chief Meader also said an investigator from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene although he was unsure why.

Elkins Mayor Van T. Broughton thanked fire departments and EMS who responded to the fire in a statement and asked everyone to check their smoke detectors.

Stay with 12 News for continued updates.

Original Story

Two people are dead after a house fire early Monday morning.

It happened on Central Street in Elkins around 4 a.m.

Elkins Fire Chief Tom Meader said seven people lived in the home, four children and three adults.

Several helicopters were called in to take the injured to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

It took firefighters about 15 to 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

Several fire departments responded and the State Fire Marshal is investigating.

A witness who called 911 said he was up and heard a loud noise. He saw flames on the front portion of the home.

Stay with 12 News for updates to this developing story.

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