Joint investigation underway at site of deadly daycare fire

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  The scene on Mill Branch Road in East Columbus had been fenced in and untouched for weeks since Columbus Fire officials wrapped up their on-site investigation into the deadly February fire at Jefferson Home Daycare.

Now, insurance agencies are sifting through the seared remnants as everyone involved searches for answers.

Attorneys, insurance company representatives and private investigators swarmed the home Tuesday and initiated a joint investigation into the fatal blaze.

"We have the insurance agencies out and they're doing their investigation. They're peeling back layer by layer. Different companies with different representatives are coming out, taking the vehicles, they're removing appliances, things of that nature," said Columbus' Fire Marshal, Chief Thomas Streeter.

Everyone at the site today was tight-lipped about their involvement in the case but fire officials for the city say this is all standard protocol when it comes to house fires.

Piece by piece, the charred remains were logged and labeled. Items like the freezer, washer and dryer were wrapped, packed, and stored as the investigation into what caused the blaze continues.

"They'll remove the vehicles and any of the appliances. The insurance companies will take them and send them to the labs to make sure that particular appliances or products or a vehicle wasn't the actual cause of the fire," Streeter added.

No one wants to know the cause more than Dana Richardson whose one-year-old son Mikey died after being pulled from the fire.

She declined an on camera interview with WTVM at the site Wednesday but issued this statement.

"I'm happy that this is finally happening so I can know what events led to my son's death."

As far as the Columbus Fire Department's investigation into this fire and what caused it, the Fire Marshal says he is not releasing those findings until the overall investigation is complete.

All of the evidence taken from the scene Wednesday is going to lab in Gainesville, Georgia so that it can be examined by all of the parties involved. 

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