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Authorities: Fire ruled accidental

A house fire in August in which two small children died has been ruled an accident, according to an announcement Tuesday from Winchester Fire Marshal Jeremy Luttrell.

Luttrell said the fire started in a receptacle next to the bunk beds of the two boys, 4-years-old and 6-years-old. They were the sons of James C. Jenkins and Shannon Berg.

The fire at 210 Summit Ave. also required two adult males inside the home to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation and burns.

Luttrell's statement also shed new light on other parts of authorities' investigation. The fire was discovered by the boys' step-grandfather who heard a hallway smoke alarm, according to Luttrell. The step-grandfather tried to find the boys in their bedroom but was unable to do so in the thick smoke he encountered, Luttrell said.

Luttrell said firefighters arriving at the home found two smoke alarms, hardwired and interconnected, still sounding.

He said the two alarms and their placement were consistent with building codes at the time of the home's construction.


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