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Kitchen stove caused fire that killed mother and 3-year-old daughter

May 14, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

An April 18 fire in an upstairs apartment at 334 Summit Ave. that claimed the lives of a mother and daughter and injured two others was caused by a kitchen stove, fire officials have determined.

Hagerstown Fire Marshal Doug DeHaven said Monday the fire might have started when items stored on top of the stove and in front of it shifted, causing the stove to be turned on. DeHaven also said cats that were being kept in the apartment might have climbed on the items, somehow causing the stove to be turned on.

Test results from an investigation of the fire showed that one burner on the stove was turned to the “on” position, according to a news release from the City of Hagerstown.

There was no way a child could have reached the stove, DeHaven said.

Patricia Goins, 43, died in the fire and her 3-year-old daughter, Hope E. Goins,  died April 20 after she was removed from life support.

Goins’ husband, Kenneth Goins, 50, was taken to Meritus Medical Center in serious condition, and he survived.

Patricia Goins’ father, Quinten Coldsmith, was taken to Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore for smoke inhalation and burns, and is now being cared for at a long-term rehabilitation center, according to the release.

Materials collected after the fire were sent to a laboratory for testing and examination, officials said. At the time, DeHaven said “this is not going to be an easy one or a fast one” to solve.

Donations continue to be collected for the Hope Goins Fund at Susquehanna Bank locations, according to the release.

The fund will help cover the cost of medical and funeral expenses, the release said. Family members also hope to fund a foundation to provide smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to underprivileged families and to support people who have been displaced by fires, the release said.

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