Deadly Bristol fire ruled accidental

A fire that destroyed a house and killed two people in Bristol was ruled accidental.

Posted on Dec. 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 26, 2013 at 6:18 p.m.

BRISTOL — Officials confirmed a deadly mobile home fire Dec. 16 near Bristol was unintentional, but they were unable to determine specifically what started it.

The Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department were called to assist in the fire and death investigations at 526 N. Arbutus, in the Timberbrook Mobile Home Park.

Crews from the Bristol Fire Department and four other township fire departments were called to the scene of the fire at about 7 a.m. They were told two people were possibly trapped in the house.

Fire units had the fire under control by 9 a.m.

Chad Russell, 42, died of carbon monoxide poisoning. His mother, Cindy Kabay, 67, died of natural causes related to a long history of health problems, according to the Elkhart County Coroner’s Office.

Russell and Kabay’s bodies were found near the entrance of the residence, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department. The mobile home’s entrance area was charred, and the windows around the house were broken.

The sheriff’s department was involved in the investigation because the incident involved fatalities.

Undersheriff Sean Holmes said that the fire marshal’s office’s investigation concluded the fire was accidental, but officials were unable to establish what exactly caused the fire because there were several possible factors that could have started it.

WNDU reported that Bristol firefighters responded to a call at the mobile home before, for a fire caused by smoking while using oxygen.

“The details of why it’s accidental; there are several possibilities,” Holmes said. “I don’t think anyone will be able to definitively say what caused it.”

He said the sheriff’s department is not looking at the incident as a criminal matter unless any other information comes out.


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