Clinton rental home may not have been up to code at time of deadly fire

Clinton rental home may not have been up to code at time of deadly fire

CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - The conditions of a rental home in Clinton at the time of a deadly fire are being questioned.

Clinton city leaders are now saying the home may not have been up to code at the time of the fire.

The memorial outside of the charred house started with a bouquet of flowers Saturday. On Tuesday, more toys and balloons sat by the tree and doorway where Brittany Presley and her 6 children died.

Clinton Fire Chief Jeff Blackledge said it was an electrical house fire that started in the attic.

“The one problem with the house, in my opinion, it had a metal roof on top of an asphalt roof which is common practice. But all that does is suppresses the heat. Fire will not ventilate,” he said.

In Clinton, rental properties are inspected every 2 years for fire safety. Mayor Phil Fisher said in 2016 and 2018, the home had working fire alarms.

“We were due again to inspect the house in June of this year for the smoke alarms. And the other things that are involved with the inspections, but smoke alarms are part of it,” said Fisher.

However, the State Fire Marshal said the smoke detectors were not working during the deadly fire over the weekend.

The home was built in 1951. It had metal bars on the windows that should be easy to open without tools, however, "on the question of the burglar bars, it does not seem like that was the way it was in the house at this time.”

An autopsy report on Brittany Presley and her 6 children is underway. The fire department is waiting to do a follow-up interview with her surviving husband Jake Presley.

“He is at the hospital currently, waiting surgery. Skin grafts and all like that. I can’t -- I can’t confirm nor deny those reports," said Blackledge.

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