BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore City Fire Department reports the cause of the fire that killed six children back in January is undetermined.
According to Baltimore City FD, after “months of an intensive comprehensive investigation, the cause of the fire is undetermined.”
Fire chief Niles Ford suspended the investigation into the fire and says it’s frustrating, but there simply wasn’t enough evidence to determine how the fire started.
“To imagine there were six children in there that they couldn’t get to, it was a horrific event for my organization,” Ford says.
Ten members of the Malone family were caught in a fire in their three-story home, located in the 4200 block of Springwood Ave., causing the 100-year-old home to collapse in the early morning hours of January 12.
The fire burned so hot that it melted the siding of a neighboring home. The fire chief says the fire destroyed much of the evidence that could have pointed to the cause.
“The fire was extraordinarily hot. This was a wood framed structure and it collapsed,” he said.
11-year-old Bridgette, 10-year-old Amelia, 3-year-old twins Amanda and Zoe, 2-year-old William and 9-month-old Daniel were killed in the blaze.
Firefighters brought in heavy equipment to demolish the home so they could recover the bodies of the children still inside.
“I heard it could have been a space heater,” said neighbor Dylan Villeneube.
Investigators previously said they looked at whether the home had working smoke detectors and if a space heater was in use.
“You can never know,” Villeneube said.
The chief says they did find where the fire started, in the front left corner of the house, but the damage was so bad that they don’t know if it was inside or outside.
Since the fire, there has been a huge outpouring of support for the family, as hundreds of thousands have been raised.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than $360,000 for the family.
The Malone family released the following statement:
“We thank the BCFD for their hard work and dedication to our family and we are grateful for the support we have received from the entire community in the past few months. Though it has been difficult, we are slowly recovering and will always remember the love we have received. At this time, we are asking for privacy.”