Daycare fire that killed 1-year-old was started by fire pit ashe - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Daycare fire that killed 1-year-old was started by fire pit ashes

Joseph Matthew Allen was killed in a house fire at a Midlothian home daycare. (Source: GoFundMe.com) Joseph Matthew Allen was killed in a house fire at a Midlothian home daycare. (Source: GoFundMe.com)
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Investigators tell us hot ashes are to blame for the fire on Valerie Court.

One-year-old Joseph Allen died from complications after being left in an upstairs bedroom. 

Seven other children were safely rescued from the home.

All along crews have been saying this fire started in the garage- but Friday we learned it was smoldering embers that sparked this blaze. 

This is an important key to this investigation, the next step will be to determine if criminal charges will be filed in this case. 

This was the scene just over two- and a half weeks ago, crews trying to keep flames in check as frantic parents rushed to this home daycare on Valerie Court.

Friday we learned that fire started because of discarded of ashes.

"Those ashes were left over from Sunday night, she was cleaning them up Tuesday morning and put them in a bag and then in the garage," says Chesterfield Fire & EMS Public Information Officer Lt. Jason Elmore.

From there, those embers smoldered for several hours.  

The unlicensed daycare provider had 8-children in her care that day. 

One of those little boys, Joseph Allen -was unaccounted for and left behind.  

Firefighters found him in an 2nd floor bedroom still strapped into his child safety seat.

He died the next day of smoke inhalation and minor burns.  

These results are just the latest piece of this investigation.

Explains Elmore, "It's still ongoing. Our partners with the Police Department and Commonwealth's Attorneys Office are still reviewing their part of this - getting the information on the cause of the fire will be something additional they will look at to determine if there will be charges filled and that's still to come."

It remains to be seen if the daycare provider will face charges- the Chesterfield Police, it says it is still consulting with the Commonwealth's Attorney and Fire Department. 

Each agency wants to make sure all the evidence is weighed before any decision is made.


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