UPDATED: Fatal Fire Investigation

Published by The Bee News

December 17, 2023

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Update 1/2/2024

Here is additional information requested by the media. The Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified the five victims who died in a residential fire on December 16 in Bullhead City, AZ. Their names are listed below.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined. The fire debris analysis being conducted in an ATF lab by chemists and electrical engineers could take months to determine what caused the fire.

John Jones III, age 13

Henry Lewis, age 11

Zane Jones, age 5

Freya Jones, age 4

Elias Jones, age 2

Below are the original press releases of the incident

UPDATE 12/18/23 5:27pm

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – December 18, 2023 – The Bullhead City Police Department is continuing its investigation on the fatal fire that occurred on Saturday (12/16) evening and claimed the lives of five children. There were no survivors.

A 13-year-old boy, 5-year-old boy, 4-year-old girl, and a 2-year-old boy were all siblings who were residents of the home. An 11-year-old boy was a relative and visiting at the time. All five children were located in the same upstairs bedroom of the two-story duplex.

Several neighbors reportedly attempted rescue efforts, including placing an extension ladder to the upstairs bedroom.
4:54 p.m. – Dispatch received a call of a structure fire on Anna Circle.
4:59 p.m. – Bullhead City Fire Units arrived on scene.
45 seconds later, there was water on the fire.
5:01 p.m. – Water supply was established from the fire hydrant.
5:03 p.m. – The main body of the fire was extinguished.

Due to the fact that a Bullhead City Fire Department employee was the grandfather of the victims, fire investigators from the Lake Havasu City Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) were called in to assist the Bullhead City Police Department with the incident.

The initial fire investigation has revealed that the fire originated in the downstairs foyer area, most likely making it impossible for the children in the upstairs bedroom to get out of the residence safely. The fire traveled up the only staircase inside the home, preventing the victims from exiting.

The children’s father reported to investigators that he was gone for approximately 2.5 hours to buy groceries and Christmas gifts.

Lake Havasu City and ATF Fire Investigators are continuing to determine how the fire started. Items of evidentiary value were collected to help determine the cause of the fire. The fire debris analysis will be conducted by ATF chemists and electrical engineers in their lab. The Bullhead City Police and Fire Departments thank the fire investigators for their assistance and making this investigation a priority.

The names of the five victims are being withheld pending official identification by the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office. The investigation is ongoing.

The investigation team is asking that any witnesses who have photos or videos of the fire to please contact the Bullhead City Police Department. Call (928) 763-9200 and ask to speak with detectives.

ORIGINAL STORY

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – December 17, 2023 – The Bullhead City Police Department is investigating a fatal fire that occurred in the 400 block of Anna Circle at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday evening (12/16/23).

There were five children (ages 13, 11, 5, 4 and 2) who did not make it out of the 2-story duplex.

This is an ongoing investigation being handled by the Bullhead City Police Department, with assistance from the Bullhead City Fire Department, Lake Havasu City Fire Department and ATF Fire Investigators.

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