KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - "Human involvement" is responsible for a Kalamazoo apartment fire that killed three children on Feb. 18, officials said Thursday.
The fire at Interfaith Apartments killed 3-year-old fraternal twins Teniyah and Tevin Williams Jr. and their 1-year-old sister, Tyonna Henderson.
Officially, fire and police officials have released few details about the case, but sources told 24 Hour News 8 a child accidentally set the fire in the Kalamazoo apartment that killed three young children.
Those sources said the child may have accidentally set something on fire from the stove that may have been left on. Then that item set something else on fire in the living room, next to the kitchen on the first floor of the apartment.
In a release from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety , authorities ruled out "electrical, weather, natural gas, water heater, furnace, etc. " as a cause of the blaze.
"The cause of this fire initiated with human involvement," the release states.
Read the entire release from KDPS (Word Doc)
The fire began on the first floor and quickly spread to the second floor, causing pressure to build. Someone from the Interfaith Homes, in an attempt to save the children, opened the front door. That created a flashover -- which happens "when the temperature point at which the heat in an area or region is high enough to ignite all flammable material simultaneously" -- that blew out the windows of the apartment.
Witnesses reported hearing an explosion, but authorities said the flashover is more likely what they heard.
The investigation was conducted by the Kalamazoo Public Safety Fire Marshal with help from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
A criminal investigation continues, and "we are still unclear at this point as to the exact dynamics and circumstances surrounding this incident. More investigative work by the Criminal Investigation Division remains in order to reach a reasonable and determinate conclusion."
Since the fire, the children's mother, Jonetta Woods, has been under intense scrutiny because the children were left alone. There are also two different occasions where authorities took complaints about Woods leaving the kids alone.
Woods said she left her boyfriend, Fred Glespie Jr., to watch the kids, but he denied that in an interview with 24 Hour News 8 last weekend.
At this point it has not been determined whether anyone will face charges.
Visitation for all three children is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Whitley Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled for noon Saturday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
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