COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Fire officials say a duplex blaze that killed a 6-year-old boy and his great-uncle was started by someone using a match or lighter to set fire to a combustible item.

The Gazette reports that the Colorado Springs Fire Department announced the cause of the fire Monday evening. Family members say children in the house previously had set fire to household items, which is what authorities believe happened Nov. 1.

Six-year-old Devyn Johnson and 40-year-old Michael Ashley died as a result of the fire. A 2-year-old boy was flown to a Denver hospital in critical condition.

The fire department states that the deaths “may have been preventable” if a working smoke alarm had been in the duplex.

Information from: The Gazette,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.