Investigators say house fire in Warren that killed mother, child started on back patio

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The actual cause of the fire remains "undetermined"

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fire investigators say they’ve pinpointed where the deadly house fire in Warren started on New Year’s Day.

Cassie Gray and her five-year-old son, Otto, were killed in the fire at their home on Woodland Street.

Her husband and other son, Simon, were able to make it out alive.

Warren Fire Chief Ken Nussle says investigators believe it started on the exterior back side of the house on a patio next to the sunroom.

Nussle says there was a plastic tote in the area containing ashes from the fireplace and cigarette butts that were discarded during a family gathering the night before.

“That is the area where the fire originated. The investigators have not ruled out that the actual cause was cigarette butts but they have not ruled that is the cause, but that is definitely the area of origin. It originated on the exterior of the house on that back patio,” Nussle said.

Nussle says investigators weren’t able to locate any working smoke detectors in the home.

“I just think this is just another painful reminder of the importance of smoke detectors. They are so important and I would recommend getting smoke detectors with lithium 10-year batteries in them instead of a 9-volt,” Nussle said.

The actual cause of the fire remains “undetermined.”

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