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Official cause of Shenandoah Junction fire undetermined

Preliminary investigation points to living-room baseboard heater

January 25, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. — A living-room baseboard heater is being eyed as the possible origin of a fire Monday night that destroyed a mobile home where a woman and her 2-year-old son were found dead, officials said Wednesday.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Patrick Barker said the official cause of the blaze at 41 Fifth St. in Shenandoah Junction is undetermined, but noted that based on his preliminary investigation he believes the fire was related to an electric heater in the living room.

Jessica Cave, 24, and her son, Dominic, were identified Tuesday as the victims by her fiance, Joseph Estevez, who was working out of town when notified of what happened to his family.

Cave was seven-months’ pregnant, according to family members and friends. 

Officials have said they do not believe there was any foul play. The victims were taken to Charleston, W.Va., for an autopsy, Barker said.

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The fire was reported at 10:07 p.m. and was “well involved” when firefighters arrived, according to Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Fire Department Chief Ross Morgan.

The fire damage appeared heaviest in the living-room/kitchen area.

One neighbor who responded to the home reported not hearing any screams for help or activated smoke detectors in the trailer.

Dominic’s grandfather, Robert Estevez, said they were due to move to a home in Inwood, W.Va., this week. Estevez said his son works as an electrician and had been working in Morgantown, W.Va., where he was staying during the week.

They only had rented the trailer for about two months, according to the property manager.

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