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Alabama House Fire Kills Six

August 28, 1990

ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) _ Fire swept through a house where a smoke detector had been installed last weekend, killing six family members and severely injuring a seventh.

Firefighter Michael Thompson said nothing could be done to save the victims after the Oneonta Fire Department received the call. ″The house was already on the ground,″ he said.

Thompson said fire officials were unsure how the survivor escaped. ″He was pretty badly burned. He was out of the house, probably 200 or so yards away from it.″

State Deputy Fire Marshal James Epperson said he had not determined the cause of the fire, but had ruled out foul play.

″There’s not a whole lot left to work with,″ Epperson said.

Owner Coy Carruth and his wife, Shirley, had already left for work when the fire started early Monday.

″There was no sign of anything that I saw unusual,″ he said.

Carruth said he had installed a smoke detector in the dining room during the weekend and believed it was loud enough to be heard in the bedrooms upstairs.

Carruth identified the victims as his son Vincent, 24; his daughter Shari, 19; his son Brian, 9; his daughter-in-law Renae, age unavailable; and her daughters, Christy, 3, and Jennifer, 14 months.

Renae Carruth’s husband, Royce, 27, was listed in critical condition at University Hospital in Birmingham.

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