March 21, 2005 — The house fire that killed three generations of a family in Frydenhoj last week probably started by accident, fire officials said Monday.
Investigators have been picking through the charred remains of the small home since it burned Wednesday, killing Shatia Riddley, 19, her 2-year-old son Leshawn Nelson and her 62-year-old mother Dorothy Donovan.
"It was more than likely accidental, but we don't know what caused it," said Fire Chief Glenn Francis.
"We don't have any reason to believe it was something suspicious, but it is still under investigation," Francis said.
Humphrey Herman, Dorothy Donovan's boyfriend, reported to fire investigators that he first saw the flames on a living room couch as he ran into the burning building in a rescue attempt. Herman was later hospitalized with burns on his head and back, Francis said.
Others at the scene tried to battle the inferno with garden hoses, to no avail, he said.
The house was completely destroyed.
Nelson's great-grandmother Ruth Donovan, 90, was also in the house when the fire broke out. She called out to the other three to get out of the house before fleeing herself, Francis said.
She was treated for shock at Roy Lester Schneider Hospital and released the same day, said hospital spokesman Amos Carty.
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