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Fires claim six lives in WV over five days

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Five fires have claimed six lives in West Virginia over the last five days.

The most recent fatal fire occurred at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Ritchie County and resulted in the death of a 97-year-old woman, said Lawrence Messina, communications director for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Messina said the fire is believed to be accidental and cooking related. The fire had gone out by the time first responders arrived at the scene.

The number of fatal fires in a short period of time is concerning, Messina said. Although the State Fire Marshal’s office has public awareness campaigns throughout the year on fire safety, he said the office has hired additional public education staff after this string of fatal fires.

“We’re doing all we can to get that message out…

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