FDNY: Deadly fire was electrical not arson

January 13, 2009 8:30:13 AM PST
The five-alarm blaze that killed two brothers on Staten Island over the weekend appears to have been an electrical fire, and not arson as initially speculated. Firefighters were met by a heavy volume of fire when they arrived at the burning Jewett Avenue home just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, causing them to initially label the blaze suspicious.

Two brothers attempted to escape the house but were trapped in the flames. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Fire marshals found no accelerant during their investigation of the fire scene, and do not believe the blaze was set.

Additionally, there was no trauma to the victims' bodies, meaning they were not killed before the fire broke out.

Instead, the marshals believe the fire was electrical in nature. The exact cause is still under investigation. While the marshals continue to investigate the cause, the criminal probe into the deaths is all but completed.

The blaze killed 27-year-old Seandale Gutter and his brother, 23-year-old Sha-Ron Gutter. The medical examiner's office has not determined the cause of their deaths, pending further study.

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