From the State Fire Marshal’s Office:
NORTHEAST, MD (May 19, 2010) – Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal are continuing with their investigation into the cause of a house fire that claimed the lives of three children on Saturday, May 15th at 50 Cedar Hill Circle in North East, Cecil County, Maryland.
The identification process for the three children has been delayed due to the inability to speak with the mother, Jewel Johnson, because of the injuries she had received while escaping the fire. Ms. Johnson is recovering at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center. Results of the preliminary forensic examination by the State Medical Examiners Office provided the children succumbed to smoke inhalation.
Deputy Fire Marshals determined smoke alarms were operating at the time of the fire and the origin for the fire was in the living room on the first floor of the two story townhouse. Although outfitted with working smoke alarms, the home pre-dated requirements for
residential fire sprinklers. These life saving devices have been mandated in all newly constructed town homes throughout Maryland since 1992.