Published On: Fri, Oct 25th, 2013

West Virginia fire which killed two children, Shania Sydney and Dontarious Gardner, was due to electrical problems

An electrical problem is to blame for a fire that killed two small children in Logan County, West Virginia.

Investigators are now reporting that the fire started in the attic due to an electrical problem and not from a space heater as originally assumed.

Shania Sydney and Dontarius Gardner

Shania Sydney and Dontarius Gardner

Dontarius Gardner, age 3, and Shania Sidney, 4, were both killed in the blaze, trapped in a back bedroom and couldn’t be reached by the family as the fire consumed the home.

Investigators said they didn’t find any smoke detectors inside the duplex and first thought a space heater was to blame for the fire.

“It is the season when we’re firing up heaters. People need to pay attention. They really need smoke alarms for their house; every bedroom, every hallway, every floor. It’s $5 at Wal-Mart. It’s a good investment and will save your life,” said Logan Fire Department Chief Scott Beckett.

The children’s mother Shantel Sidney and her boyfriend Michael Williams was also inside, they were not hurt. Williams and Sidney tried to reach the children but couldn’t due to the intensity of the flames.

“…it’s just a bad situation,” Scott Beckett, with Logan Fire Department, said. “It’s hard on the firefighters, it’s hard on the paramedics, it’s hard on the police officers.”

Shania was in Pre-K at Verdunville Elementary.



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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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