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Fire pit ashes caused fatal Chesterfield daycare fire

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Posted at 12:26 PM, Nov 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-07 12:37:57-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Ashes from a fire pit sparked a fatal fire at a Chesterfield home used as an in-home daycare.

“Chesterfield County Fire Marshals have determined the fire was accidental and started in the garage as a result of ashes from a fire pit that were placed in a trash bag,” Chesterfield Fire spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore said. “The trash bag was set in the garage and sparked the fire.”

One-year-old Joseph Allen was left inside the burning Valerie Court home after the daycare owner removed all the other children from the house.

During an initial search, fire crews did not see Allen. Firefighters said the homeowner told them all the children were accounted for and outside. When visibility upstairs improved, a second search discovered Allen in a car seat carrier that was upside down. The child was strapped in and firefighters raced him to the front yard where they performed aid before transporting him to St. Francis Medical Center.

Fire crews responded to the burning home at about 12:16 p.m. on October 21.