West Virginia house fire that killed 4 not considered suspicious

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CLAY, W.Va. (AP) — UPDATE (Jan. 14):

The bodies of four children have been recovered after they died in a fire at a home in Clay County late Saturday.

It happened on the 600 block of Main Street in the town of Clay just after 11 p.m. Saturday.

West Virginia Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic says the cause of fire has not been determined, but he has no reason to believe there was any criminal activity involved.

The names of the children have not been released, but an EMT and friend of the family told WHSV's sister station, WSAZ, the children were a a 6-month-old boy, and three girls ages 3, 4, and 8.

Crews spent roughly 16 hours Saturday into Sunday looking for the four children.

Baltic says it appears at least one of the children was trying to escape when the smoke and flames overpowered her.

“Today was a tragic event for four young foster children,” said Linda Watts, Commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Children and Families. “We are truly saddened by the loss experienced.”

Troopers say four other people were able to escape the home, including a 2-year-old boy. The surviving victims were taken to CAMC in Charleston for treatment.

The EMT says they are all in stable condition.


Authorities in West Virginia say four foster children have been killed in a house fire.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic tells news outlets the fire destroyed the home Saturday night in Clay.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources' Bureau for Children and Families said in a statement Sunday the four killed were foster children.

Bureau commissioner Linda Watts says the bureau is "truly saddened by the loss experienced."

Authorities say the victims were a 6-month-old boy and three girls ages 3, 4 and 8. Their names weren't immediately released.

Baltic says two adults and two children escaped the home. They were taken to a Charleston hospital for treatment.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.