WEB EXTRA: Mora Apartment Fire Photo Gallery
MORA, Minn. (WCCO) – The Minnesota Fire Marshal says it appears the fire that killed three people in Mora, Minn. last week was accidental.
The investigation has not yet been finalized, but early findings indicate the fire was not intentionally set, according to the Department of Public Safety.
The fire appears to have started in the second apartment of the four-unit building last Thursday morning.
The only unit that had a working smoke detector was the unit furthest away from where the fire started, authorities said.
In three of the four units, either the batteries or the smoke detectors themselves had been removed.
“In every fire, our investigators look closely at the presence and operability of smoke alarms,” said Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl. “Too often, however, we find smoke alarms are missing or damaged — or the batteries have been removed for other use — and that’s just a chance that’s not worth taking.”
The fire killed Michael Caley and his 12-year-old son Coleman Caley, as well as 68-year-old Shirley Norling.