Foul play ruled out in fatal fire; children laid to rest - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Foul play ruled out in fatal fire; children laid to rest

Mar'Lena and Dexter Miland both lost their lives in a deadly Decatur fire. Mar'Lena and Dexter Miland both lost their lives in a deadly Decatur fire.
The fire started in a unit at West Ridge Apartments in Decatur. The fire started in a unit at West Ridge Apartments in Decatur.

Family and friends gathered to pay respects to two Decatur children Tuesday afternoon.

Mar'Lena Miland, 4, and Dexter Miland,  2, were both killed in a multi-apartment fire March 27. Their funeral was held Tuesday at the United Pentecostal Jubilee House of Prayer.

At the site of the fire, car after car stopped by Tuesday to place flowers and cards in support of the victims and their family. Those paying their respects included friends, family, and even people who did not know the family personally.

"This is my usual route," said Decatur resident Georgia Smiley. "Those kids usually play here. Beautiful dress, beautiful hair, she always sits on the step," she recalled.

Foul play was ruled out in the investigation into the blaze, according to a Decatur fire official.

"No ignitable liquid was found," according to a lab test from samples taken inside the apartment. 

Investigators found a smoke detector in the apartment unit where the fire started. It isn't known if the detector was functioning properly at the time of the fire.

The last inspection on the building the children lived in was made in 1986, according to reports obtained by WAFF. No code violations were found on Building A, however in 2010, an inspector reported more than a dozen violations in one of Building D's units, including a smoke detector not working, a condemned electrical system, and an improperly installed outlet causing power outages.

The fire marshal said after investigating since last Thursday, they have not come across anything that looks suspicious and they hope to release more information on the fire by the end of the week.

"We have narrowed it to a very small area that we found it appears to have started," said Fire Marshal Jason Jones.

Jones said they will follow up with more questions and investigating until they arrive at their final report.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

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