Electrical wiring may be cause of group home fire, arson ruled out

Wednesday, November 29th 2006, 6:23 am
By: News On 6

ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) -- Authorities say faulty electrical wiring may be to blame for a fire that killed ten people at a southwest Missouri group home for the elderly and mentally ill that's just across the Oklahoma state line.

Investigators are ruling out arson but state Fire Marshal Randy Cole says the exact cause of the attic blaze may never be known because the north end of the building where it started was destroyed.

However experts say electrical wiring in the south end of the attic had been improperly spliced.

The fire marshal says nothing indicated that natural gas was involved.

Deputy Chief State Fire Marshall Bill Zieres says nothing was stored in the attic but it was insulated with blown cellulose which he says can sustain a smoldering fire.

Investigators believe the fire started in the attic's northwest corner and smoldered for an undetermined period before breaking through the ceiling into living areas.

Cole said the investigation was continuing, including into whether there was any negligence by the owners.