Cause Of Fire That Killed 7 Kids Undetermined
LOYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – Investigators said Thursday they could not determine the cause of a fire that killed seven siblings and destroyed their Pennsylvania farmhouse more than three weeks ago, and they are closing the case.
The fire originated in the first-floor living room of the Clouse family’s two-story home in Loysville, about 30 miles northwest of Harrisburg, state police said.
Tests on the victims, all younger than 12, showed oxygen was flowing through their lungs when the fire started March 8, authorities said.
“This would basically rule out if they were dead before the fire started,’’ said Trooper Tom Pinkerton, a state police spokesman.
A coroner ruled that all seven died of smoke inhalation.
Authorities are closing the case and don’t plan to release additional information, Pinkerton said.
The children’s mother, Janelle Clouse, was milking cows in the barn when fire broke out, and their father, Ted Clouse, was making the rounds in his milk truck.
An eighth child, a 3-yearold girl, ran from the home to alert her mother and was unharmed. The children were buried together in a nearby church cemetery.
Work to build a new home on the dairy farm is well under way.