Investigators Expect To Rule Out Arson In Missouri Group Home Fire

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) -- A police spokesman says investigators expect to rule out arson as the cause of a fire that killed 10 people at a group home for the elderly and mentally ill in southwest Missouri near the Oklahoma border.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Jason Clark says investigators did not have any suspects or persons of interest in the blaze, which authorities had previously described as suspicious.

Clark says detectives did not expect to discover evidence indicating the fire was deliberately set.

Officials have revealed little about what may have sparked the flames.

Coroner B.J. Goodwin says most of the victims had been asleep when the fire broke out, noting they were found in their pajamas and were not wearing shoes. He says all of them died of smoke inhalation.

The blaze injured about two dozen people at the Anderson Guest House early Monday and stunned this town of 1,800 people in southwest Missouri's Ozark hills, south of Joplin and about 20 miles east of Oklahoma.