Archived Story

Cause of fatal fire investigated

Published 10:45pm Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BERRIEN SPRINGS — Investigators have yet to determine what caused a fatal fire at apartments on Valley View Drive, Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Chief Milton A. Agay reported Wednesday afternoon.
Interviews by detectives  with occupants of three apartments continue.
Agay said the Michigan State Police fire marshal is requesting a fire investigator from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms examine the fire scene.
As far as smoke detectors, Agay said in a prepared statement, “We have learned that they were there, but, until we have located all of the people that were inside at the time of the fire, we are unable to say they were all functioning. Some people indicated hearing something, and others indicated that they did not.”
Tuesday’s fire killed a 3-year-old girl, Isabella-Aeppelina Haas, sent Robert E. Haas, 47, to the Bronson Burn Unit in Kalamazoo and treated and released two other people at Lakeland-St. Joseph.
At least 11 people escaped the fully-engulfed structure, including three who leaped from the second floor with the help of other tenants.

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