Investigators said the fire at a Barton residence Saturday that killed two people was electrical.
“The investigation has identified an electrical circuit as being the most probable cause of the fire,” State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said. “This was an accidental fire.”
Angela Long, 50, and her 6-year-old great-nephew, Chalmas Buie, both died in the fire at their residence at 1050 Mulberry Lane, which is in the Barton community east of Cherokee.
Buie’s sister, D’nysa Holman, 9, his mother, Karisa Turnley, 38, and her boyfriend, Charles Smith, got out of the residence but were injured.
Holman was flown to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham where she is being treated in its burn center.
Rachel Olis, a spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital, said Holman is in critical condition.
Turnely and Smith were taken to Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield where they were treated and released.
Firefighters with Barton Volunteer Fire Department said when they arrived the residence was fully involved and flames were coming from the north side of the house.
“The investigation established the origin of the fire was in the living room,” Paulk said.
Officials said that was consistent with what firefighters said when they arrived.
The fire was reported at 6:22 a.m. Saturday. Barton Fire Chief William Hogeland said firefighters were on the scene within five minutes of receiving the call.
“There was already heavy smoke and fire (when firefighters arrived),” Hogeland said. He said shortly after firefighters got there and were preparing to try and get inside the house, the tin roof starting falling in.
Smoke and flames could be seen from the single-story block structure for more than a mile away.
Long’s body was recovered in her bedroom, which was near the south end of the house. Buie’s body was recovered in the kitchen.
According to officials with the National Fire Protection Association, there were 420 deaths attributed to electrical house fires in 2010.
Association reports indicate that same year there were 46,500 homes in the U.S. damaged because of electrical fires.
Association officials said electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in 13 percent of all residential house fires reported.
The investigation into a deadly fire Sunday is still ongoing, Paulk said.
Patti Terry was killed in the fire that destroyed her home at 11950 U.S. 72, less than a mile from the Mulberry Lane fire.
Firefighters said the fire apparently started in the back of the house.
Terry’s husband, Ron, tried to get into the house but was unable because of the extent of the fire.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.