UPDATE: State fire Marshal rules Starkville fire an accident

By Miss. Insurance Department

The Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled that the December fire in a Starkville apartment complex that took the lives of nine individuals was accidental. It has been determined that the fire originated at a chair in the living room of the apartment.

In its investigation the State Fire Marshal’s Office eliminated multiple causes of the fire, with the exception of smoking related materials.

“This tragic fire and resulting loss of life is a stark reminder of the importance of knowing and practicing fire safety in the home,” Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney said. “This year the Fire Marshal’s Office has investigated 17 fire deaths since January 1. This time last year we had only investigated 7 fire deaths.”