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Gasoline in basement big cause of fatal fire


By:  Star Beacon - Shelley Terry

ASHTABULA — Gasoline stored in the basement played a key role in the house fire in which a 2-year-old twin boy died Tuesday, fire officials said Thursday.

The cause of the fire is undetermined pending forensic testing and laboratory results, and the case is still being investigated, according to the Ashtabula fire marshal, Capt. Gerald Senger.

Smoke inhalation killed Jorden Elliott of 3501 Hiawatha Ave., when fire swept through the basement, said James Baehr, Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office investigator.

The boy’s mother, Dannette Elliott, said Jorden was playing in a toy room near the washer and dryer when the fire started. She tried to get to her child, but the smoke and flames were too intense, she said.

Senger said the presence of working smoke detectors in the home alerted the other family members to the fire, allowing them to escape.

“Improper storage of gasoline in the basement played a major role in the fire,” Senger said in a press release.

Dannette Elliott has said she believes the clothes dryer had caused the fire.

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