Fire marshal: Butte fire that claimed the lives of five girls was “cooking related”

The Alaska Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the fire that claimed the lives of five girls in the Mat-Su Valley Butte area last week was accidental and “cooking-related.”

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The State Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the deceased as 3-year-old Jaelynn Flores, 6-year-old Sofia Flores, 7-year-old Lillyanna Flores, 8-year-old Nevaeh Flores, and 12-year-old Alexis Quackenbush.

Fire Marshal Dave Tyler told reporters today that all five girls died of smoke inhalation after their mobile home caught fire early last Thursday morning.

Tyler did not give specifics on what appliances may have been in use when the fire started, but said burn marks and other indicators pointed definitively to the kitchen. He said the fire was not caused by faulty outlets or wiring. According to Tyler, fires in mobile homes are prone to spreading quickly due to airflow and materials used.

Tyler said there is no evidence of functioning smoke detectors in the mobile home at the time of the fire.

It’s unclear when the cooking that started the fire began, and Tyler said criminal charges are “absolutely not” being considered at this time.

Additional details are on hold until the fire investigator makes a complete report.