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Officials say ember from fireplace started Tennessee blaze

January 5, 2019

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An ember from an operating fireplace ignited a Christmas tree and started a house fire that killed three teenagers and an adult in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.

The Collierville Fire Marshal’s Office said wrapped Christmas presents and living room furniture added more fuel to the fire that engulfed a two-story home on Dec. 23.

Officials said Daniel Coudriet and his 13-year-old son Cole escaped. But 46-year-old Kari Coudriet, Daniel’s wife and Cole’s mother, died in the blaze.

Also killed were three teens, ages 14, 15 and 17. The Coudriet family was hosting them for Christmas while their missionary parents were in India.

Chief of Fire Prevention Paul Witt says in a Friday news release that there was no working smoke alarm on the first floor, making “early escape impractical.”

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