BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The cause of a fire that killed a woman and her daughters in their northeast Baltimore home last week was an improperly used extension cord, fire officials said Wednesday.
A home that might otherwise be full of holiday cheer is now the scene of a memorial for Alicia Evans, 26, and her daughters, Amani Mullen and Layla Mullen, who died from thermal injuries and smoke inhalation resulting from a blaze that spread through their home around 1 a.m. on Dec. 13.
Alicia and 5-year-old Amani died immediately following the fire, while 4-year-old Layla passed away the next day while being treated for extensive burns at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The heartbreaking scene off East Coldspring Lane now serves as a painful reminder of a tragedy that fire officials say could happen to anyone.
“The origin was in the second floor of that residence and it was electrical,” Baltimore City Fire Chief Niles Ford said.
Officials have not yet specified what may have been plugged in.
With the cause of the fire now known, the Baltimore city fire chief is stressing the importance of fire safety, especially as it pertains to space heaters and Christmas trees.
“If you use space heaters, plug them directly into the wall,” says Ford. “Do not use extension cords because extension cords very often can’t withstand the amount of power that pushed through that extension cord.”
An already grieving community is taking the update and advice to heart.
“Now that I know that, I’ll make sure I share that with my family,” one resident told WJZ’s George Solis.
“I just always unplug my tree before i go to bed. Nobody is going to see it till the morning,” resident Tasha Kilgore said.
A viewing for the family is set for Thursday, Dec. 21, from 11 am. to 7 p.m., at the Gary P. March Funeral Home.
Their funeral will be the next day, Friday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m., at Spirit of Faith Christian Center.
Evans reportedly graduated from Baltimore’s Mercy High School in 2010.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. You can find it HERE.
According to the fire department, there have been more than two dozen fire fatalities in Baltimore City this year.