Investigators identify start of fatal nursing home fire in Chester

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 8, 2017 2:38 AM

A pile of blankets and walkers set by the side of the road are seen in the aftermath of a fire at the the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, Pa., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. At least 20 people have been injured in a massive fire at the senior living community about 35 miles west of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(West Chester) -- Investigators say the fire that claimed the lives of four at an eastern Pennsylvania senior living community began on an outside patio behind the facility.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says while the patio was the fire's starting point, they have yet to determine what ignited the fire.

Arson and foul play have been ruled out.

Four people -- 93-year-old Mildred Gadde; 85-year-old Theresa Malloy; 89-year-old Delores Parker; and her husband, 92-year-old Thomas Parker -- died in the overnight fire at Barclay Friends in West Chester November 17.

More than two dozen were injured and 133 residents have been displaced.

ATF spokeswoman Charlene Hennessy says the fire was "purely accidental." She says the agency hopes to release more findings next week.

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