CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A discarded cigarette caused the Wicklow Lane house fire that killed five members of the same Chesterfield family, Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore said.
The January 17 fire killed 74-year-old Richard Hudson, his wife Margaret, their daughter 54-year-old Margaret Hunt and their great-grandchildren three-year-old Madison Hunt and one-year-old Colton.
Five other family members, including the children’s mother, escaped the fire.
“My mom handed me Caroline and she had the other two and we just turned and came down the stairs and walked out the front door and I turned around and she was gone,” Katie Hunt recently told CBS 6 reporter Laura French. “I had a blanket wrapped around me and I had her face tucked in the blanket. She just looked at me and asked why our house was on fire and I lost it because I couldn’t find my mom and my other two.”
Chesterfield Fire Marshals later determined the fire was accidental and started in the garage as result of a discarded cigarette. Fire officials reminded the community to put cigarettes out all the way and extinguish them in an ashtray or bucket with sand.
The Wicklow Lane fire was considered one of the — if not the — deadliest fire in Chesterfield County history.