The mother of the four young children killed in a devastating fire in Elkins died of her injuries at a Pennsylvania burn center, state officials said.
Jennifer Chamberlain, 34, died early Tuesday at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh from injuries sustained in the Oct. 28 house fire that claimed the life of her husband and four children, according to an investigator at the State Fire Marshal's Office.
She and her brother, Jeff Hyde, were the last of the family at the hospital after the fire. Hyde, who had been sleeping in the basement at the time of the fire, was released from the burn center on Monday, investigators said.
Fire broke out in the Elkins home about 4 a.m. Oct. 28, trapping the family of six and Chamberlain's brother, Hyde, inside.
Isabella Chamberlain, 4, was pronounced dead at the scene. Alanna Chamberlain, 2, died at a local hospital hours later.
Alan Chamberlain, 29, Brianna Chamberlain, 2, and Catherine Bolgar, 11, all died at West Penn Oct. 29. Brianna was Alanna's twin and Catherine was Jennifer's daughter from a previous relationship.
The fire was believed to have started in a couch on a side porch where family members would smoke, Lawrence Messina, communications director for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, said on behalf of the State Fire Marshal's Office. He said extensive damage to the home made it difficult to pinpoint the cause.
The fire blocked all of the exits. The house had a smoke detector but it did not have any batteries, Elkins Fire Chief Tom Meader told the Associated Press.
"In the wake of that fire and other fatal fires we've endured recently, we've really tried to step up our public education efforts," Messina said. "One piece of advice is when you turn back your clock for Daylight Saving Time you replace the batteries in your smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors."
He said there have been 55 civilian fire deaths in the state since Jan. 1. It's a figure he said was not necessarily high for the state, but was still "regrettable." He said West Virginia's fire death rate per capita is higher than every state in the nation, surpassed only by Washington, D.C.
A 2010 study by the U.S. Fire Administration showed West Virginia's fire death rate was 37.2 per million residents.