Cause Determined in Delmar Double Fatal Fire - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cause Determined in Delmar Double Fatal Fire

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DELMAR, Md.- Authorities have ruled as accidental a Monday afternoon fire that claimed the lives of a married couple in Delmar.

Investigators with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office determined the fire originated within an upholstered chair located in the living room of the home. Due to the rapid spread of the fire, the occupants, 65-year-old David Cullen, and his wife, 61-year-old Linda Cullen, were unable to escape from their singlewide mobile home located at 30111 Niblett Court.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death of both Mr. and Mrs. Cullen as smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental as a result of smoking materials coming in contact with the upholstered chair, investigators said.

The 2:24 p.m. two-alarm blaze was placed under control within 30 minutes by nearly 20 firefighters from the Delmar, Salisbury Station #2, Hebron and Laurel Fire departments. The State Fire Marshal's Office was assisted by the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators determined a smoke alarm was present in the home, but said it did not work at the time of the fire. 

This incident brings the total fire-related deaths in 2014 in Wicomico County to four, authorities said.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said that there have been 19 fire deaths reported statewide compared to 29 this time last year, or a 35 percent decrease. This was also the fifth fire death incident statewide in which an inoperable smoke alarm was present, investigators said.

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