Overloaded extension cord blamed for fatal fire that killed Bernice Washington and grand-child Zavion Atkins; 4 fled & left victims behind

Fatal Fire near Waldorf killed grandmother Bernice Washington and grandchild. Extension  cord blamed. Photo from  WTOP

Fatal Fire near Waldorf killed grandmother Bernice Washington and grandchild. Extension cord blamed. Photo from WTOP

CAUSE DETERMINED IN WALDORF DOUBLE FATAL FIRE

WALDORF, Maryland (October 20, 2015) –  Overloaded extension cord caused two deaths in Charles County fire. The Office of the State Fire Marshal reports that it has determined the origin and cause of a double fatal fire that claimed the life of two Waldorf family members. Investigators determined the fire originated within a hallway which separated the victims’ bedrooms and concluded the cause was an electrical failure due to an overloaded extension cord.

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The investigation revealed Zavion Atkins (6) and his great-grandmother Bernice Washington (68) were asleep in separate bedrooms when the fire occurred.

Four other family members were able to escape after being alerted to the sound of a smoke alarm. The 12:34 AM fire at 15101 Poplar Hill Road was brought under control by numerous Charles County and Prince Georges County fire departments.

The single-story modular home was heavily damaged during the blaze. Charles County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the initial investigation, which is standard operating procedure in fatal related fires. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed the victims succumbed to smoke inhalation and thermal burn injuries.

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