KETR Local
6:27 am
Mon January 12, 2009

Cause of deadly fire still being sought

Paris – Officials are continuing their comprehensive investigation into the cause of last week's fire at a Paris homeless shelter that killed five.

Paris Fire Department Arson Investigators, members of the State Fire Marshal's office, and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are all assisting in the investigation at the Christians in Action facility. The State Fire Marshal's office has also sent a canine unit to search for the possible presence of a fire accelerant.

Investigators last week had not yet determined an obvious cause of the fire and are not ruling out any possibilities. They had hoped to wrap up their on-scene investigation sometime Friday, then attempt to assist residents in the removal of personal items from the building.

A few of the residents have been relocated to facilities in other communities but the majority are being temporarily housed at the First United Methodist Church in Paris.

Authorities have still yet to release the names of the five victims, as they are still working to find and notify the next-of-kin.

Citizens are encouraged to avoid the affected area as the building is becoming increasingly unstable. The section of Kaufman Street near the facility remains closed to traffic as a safety precaution and authorities say it is likely that a portion of the building will have to be demolished.