Archive for Friday, September 29, 2006

Investigators: Fatal fire cause “undetermined”

Press conference planned for 4 p.m.

September 29, 2006


Investigators say they cannot determine the cause of an East Lawrence house fire that killed five people earlier this month; there were no indications of criminal activity.

Fire officials plan a 4 p.m. press conference to discuss the results of the investigation that killed Charles Glover Sr., 66, and four of his grandchildren. But they sent out an early afternoon press release announcing their findings.

"Results of the investigation, at this time, do not indicate any criminal activity, however the fire will be classified as undetermined," said the announcement from City Hall.

"Two possible factors cannot be eliminated: electrical and a human factor, whether accidental or malicious. Nearly one-third of all fires in the United States are listed as undetermined. One factor in that statistic is the level of difficulty that is nearly always present in a fire investigation. The heavy damage to the structure, as well as the absence of witnesses, contributed to the inability to identify electrical or human factor as the cause."

Glover Sr. died Sept. 17 in a house fire in East Lawrence along with grandchildren Nolan Vender, 13; DaVonte Brockman, 11; Mario Johnson, 2; and Mariyana Johnson, 13 months.

The sole survivor of the fire was Glover's wife, Learlean.


Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 4 months ago

I do not know if this is good or bad, not that any good could be found in this.

LogicMan 11 years, 4 months ago

Very unfortunately loss of life.

LJW: Any evidence of operational smoke detectors?

dthroat 11 years, 4 months ago

Maybe if they didn't destroy all the potential evidence in their "safety" attitude before investigators could at least look for cause they might have been able to find out.

AND if they would actually try to save lives and not save the ground there might have been a somewhat different outcome.

I have held back any comments until this anoucenment, but since the LDCFM "investigation" is apparently over it is time to stir stuff. I TRUELY mourn those that died, but have heard the stories how there could POSSIBLY been a different outcome for at least one of the victims.

It seems like noone wants to speak poorly of firefighters (and in general I don't either) but from speaking to people at the scene of several major fire recently, the fire dept. has the attidude of setting up for defensive mode as opposed to attacking and trying to save lives.

The most recent big fires involved law enforcement saving lives and getting injured and not fire fighters. who has the best equipment to prevent injuries?? NOT the cops. AND I understand the firemen COMPLAINED about the LE action.

This may be their training, but if it is I have a real problem with it. Cops are trained to be safe also, but they can't WAIT around. Who goes into the schools when someone is shooting???? Overland Park Fire just recused some woman from her roof WHILE the fire was burning. It is a shame our folks couldn't do that for an 11 year old in the latest fire who was by a window.

I have ranted enough and let the crufixication begin.

Terry Jacobsen 11 years, 4 months ago

Your pathetic. It must be easy to sit at your computer and criticize the firefighters who daily put their lives on the line for the safety of others.

I bet the information that you claim to be fact is no such thing. There were lots of folks around that night and no one said anything like what you are suggesting in any of the interviews that were printed in the paper.

When I was growing up, unsubstantiated claims like yours, were called GOSSIP.

dthroat 11 years, 4 months ago

TJ- I understand the reaction and obviously expected it (my last line). If you will check my history I tend not to just spout off at the mouth with no information.

I understand that firefighters are the beloved people in the community and can do no wrong, and I am taking on a BIG hit just by bad mouthing them. THEY are not the only ones who put their lives on the line every day. The cops to it all the time and the Medics (firefighters) wait until the scene is "safe" for them to even get close.

Talk to some of the folks who were first in on several of these big scenes and hear what they say. Even check the LJW reports about the cops who saved lives at Boardwald and New Jersey- no ldcfm names mentioned there. NO it won't be in the paper, cause none of them are ALLOWED to say what they want.

And you are correct. I cannot come out and verify this, so people will believe what that will.

dthroat 11 years, 4 months ago

OK, I hit some wrong buttons so I hope this is not a repeat.

I am not attacking the great men and women who do this job. Tried it, didn't like it. I am in awe of those who do this job. This doesn't mean I am just a person who sits at the computer and has not a clue.

I am addressing their leadership and how they have to respond to things. If you talk to the people present at recent incidents (not just the big ones) this is a mind set/training for these people.

I have seen recent incidents in the KC area where people have been rescued from the roof and other areas of the house. This should be the norm, but is not what I hear from here.

If you check my posting history, I try not to be negative to a great extent and try to have some facts before I open my keyboard.

Thank you.

Scooter_Trash 11 years, 4 months ago

dthroat, I went back and checked on all those "facts". What I determined is that you have no idea what you are talking about. I guess it's easy to sit and type on a keyboard, annonymously.

ytmsn 11 years, 4 months ago

dthroat, wtf! firefighters were in that house and pulled two people out. Many of them (LDCFM & LPD) had to go to the back to help with CPR. There were also firefighters who tried to get in the window on the 2nd floor. The cops also helped the firefighters and searched the two houses on either side of the fire.

Cops are always on the street - they tend to get to fires quicker. They can often get inside and knock on doors and get people out of bed. They tend to get injured more because they don't have the tools to knock down doors or because they lack the protective gear to protect from smoke/fire.

You talk about the NJ and Boardwalk fires like LDCFM just stood around and protected their own asses.

Cops and firefighters rescued alot of people from the boardwalk fire.

You don't seem to mention that those two fires were way out of control long before LDCFM even got there (or some of the largest fires in our history).

You talk about how KC and OP seem to be more aggressive. I bet they have alot more people to throw at a house fire than we do in Lawrence. Lawrence only has 5 fire trucks to protect the hole city.

Also, it seems that in Lawrence we have either very small fires were everyone gets out on there own or huge fires where no one stands a chance inside.

dthroat talks about how rooftop rescues are "the norm" in other large cities - but that type of situation just does not happen in Lawrence very often. I would hope that when it does dthroat will be shocked and amazed when LDCFM puts up a ladder and gets them down - just like they do in KC and OP.

I think that the fire/police in every community are held in high regard. I don't think they are immune from criticism. In this case I don't think that dthroat's "bad mouthing" the fire department for pulling people out of a house fire and trying to save there lives is even worth responding to. But it kills me to read this kind of stuff. thanks for reading!

asmena 11 years, 4 months ago

Good info Marion and ytmsm.

dthroat's got some nerve to accuse any fire department of being more concerned about their own safty VS a potential rescue situation. It's "risk alot to save alot" brother. Also, ofcourse LDCFM gets upset when cops go running into a burning buliding without any protective clothing or training.

They become another victim!

But I'm glad LPD goes above and beyond on these terrible fires.


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