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By:  Star Beacon - Shelley Terry

Officials have yet to determine what caused the fatal fire

ASHTABULA — Smoke inhalation killed the 2-year-old twin boy who died in a house fire Tuesday when he was trapped in a basement toy room, said James Baehr, Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office investigator.

Jorden Elliott, 2, of 3501 Hiawatha Ave., died about 3:30 p.m., shortly after a fire swept through the basement near the washer and clothes dryer, firefighters said.

Ashtabula firefighters remained on the scene overnight to preserve the integrity of the fire scene.

Wednesday morning, the Ashtabula Police Department, Ashtabula fire marshal and Ohio fire marshal began combing through the debris to try to determine the cause of the fire. As of late Wednesday afternoon, the investigation was still ongoing, fire officials said.

The boy’s mother, Danette Elliott, believes the clothes dryer caused the fire. She tried to get to her child, but the smoke and flames were too intense, she said. Other children and the boy’s mother and great-grandmother were able to escape without injury.

Family, friends and neighbors created a memorial to Jorden Wednesday with stuffed animals and notes at the fire hydrant in front of the house.

The Ashtabula Fire Department received the call at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and arrived on the scene three minutes later only to find a well-developed fire in the basement and reports of a child trapped inside, Chief Ron Pristera said.

Three firefighters immediately entered the basement to conduct search and rescue operations and to extinguish the fire, according to the fire department’s report. Additional firefighters searched the first and second floors of the house, the report said.

Neighbors came out of their homes and watched from their porches and front lawns to offer hope and prayers, but they could not save Jorden.

Elliott, a single mother and a nurse, supports seven children.

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