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Death toll climbs in Charleston fire

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A child pulled from a weekend fire in Charleston died Sunday at a local hospital, authorities say.

Bryan Timothy Camp, 7, known to friends and family as B.J., was taken off of life support Sunday morning at Charleston Area Medical Center's Women and Children's Hospital, said city police Sgt. Bobby Eggleton.

B.J.'s death marks the ninth after early Saturday house fire on Arlington Avenue claimed the lives of several of his family members.

His mother Lisa Carter-Camp, 26, and siblings Keahna Camp, 8, and Jeremiah Camp, 3, were killed in the blaze along with Carter-Camp's boyfriend Alex Seal and his daughters Kiki and Gigi Seal, both 3.

Latasha Jones-Isabell, Carter-Camp's sister who lived with her in the home, escaped the fire. Her two children, Elijah Scott, 3, and Emanuel Jones, 18 months, died in the fire.

The family had been celebrating Carter-Camp's birthday, which was Saturday, over the weekend.

Charleston police and firefighters were at the house Sunday afternoon with investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Eggleton said investigators notify ATF in fires where a life is lost.

"It's procedure, we call them in on most fires but especially when a life, or lives are lost," Eggleton said. "They have great investigative skills and use different techniques and equipment than our agencies."

ATF investigators were searching the charred remains of the home by using a dog trained to detect accelerants. As of Sunday afternoon the dog had found none, Eggleton said.

He said firefighters also had not found any signs of arson in the two-story wood frame home. Firefighters believe the fire started in the front of the first level of the house.

Firefighters were called to the home at 2 Arlington Avenue just after 3:20 a.m. Saturday. They arrived four minutes after receiving the call, city officials said.

Jones-Isabell, 24, told investigators she had been outside smoking a cigarette when she noticed the fire and ran to a neighbor's home to get help.  

Firefighters did not know how long the fire had been burning by the time they arrived.

Eggleton said firefighters had not yet determined what caused the fire. 

The victims' bodies were taken to the state Medical Examiner's office for autopsy though firefighters said Saturday the likely cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Investigators found two smoke detectors inside the home, which was a rental unit, but one was not operational and the other was improperly located under a cabinet. The landlord was identified as Delores Shamblin of Mammoth.

City officials tried to schedule an inspection of the home after receiving the permission of landlord Shamblin and a resident, as per city code, but when the inspector arrived a child who answered the door said no adult was home and the inspection was postponed.

City officials said Saturday's house fire was the worst in the city's history in terms of loss of life.

Seven city firefighters were killed battling the blaze that overtook F.W. Woolworth's department store on Capitol Street in March 1949. Records from the fire showed that 13 people were injured in the fire.

The fire investigation is ongoing.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.


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