HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – The Glen Allen house fire that killed two principals in December has been ruled accidental, according to the Henrico County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The fire was at a home located in the 10200 block of Heritage Lane on December 31, 2016.
After an investigation, Fire Marshals determined the cause of the house fire to be accidental in nature as a result of carelessly discarded smoking materials.
The fire resulted in the deaths of two former Richmond Public Schools principals: John Lane, 76, and his wife, Janet Hall-Lane, 60.
John Lane began his RPS career in 1962 as a science teacher at Armstrong, and became a principal at two RPS schools before his retirement, according to RPS officials.
Janet Hall-Lane began working at RPS in the 1980’s and was currently serving as an assistant principal at Bellevue Elementary in Church Hill.
The couple’s son and grandson escaped the blaze by jumping from the second floor of the home. Henrico Fire says the two survivors stated that the smoke alarms woke them from their sleep.
Fire officials are now stressing the importance of working smoke alarms in the home.
“Your chances of surviving a house fire doubles when smoke alarms are present,” said Henrico Fire in a press release. “Alarms should be replaced if they’re over 10 years old, should have batteries changed every spring and fall, and should be cleaned and tested monthly.”
Henrico Fire said they will make available alarms to those who cannot otherwise afford them.