Fire officials: Colorado Springs house fire that killed 2 may have been preventable

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Police investigate a fire at a home on Cucharras Street Friday afternoon. _ Mike Duran - FOX21 News_336294

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An investigation into a fatal house fire that claimed the lives of two people and injured a child was human caused, according to investigators with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

The house fire, which happened on Nov. 10 at a duplex located at 739 Cucharras Street, claimed the lives of 40-year-old Michael Ashley and 6-year-old Devyn Johnson.

According to investigators, a transient heat source (match, lighter, etc.) was applied to combustibles in the home’s living room. Family members told investigators that the children involved had previously misused fire on several occasions, having set fire to household items. Fire investigators found evidence supporting these claims and believe this fire was caused the same way. Additionally, officials say there were no working smoke alarms inside the home.

Authorities have issued the following tips:

  • Keep matches and lighters stored out of reach of small children and exercise appropriate parental supervision.
  • If you observe children or teenagers showing curiosity about fire or setting fires out of anger or experimenting with fire,  please contact your local fire department or the CSFD FireFactor2 program.
  • Have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and directly outside every sleeping area. Smoke alarms provide the early warning necessary to get everyone out safely.

CSFD encourages anyone who observes a child misusing fire to make a referral by contacting them at firefactor@springsgov.com or by calling 719-385-7376. Your referral may save someone’s life.

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