December 31, 2002
Posted at: 9:45 a.m. CDT
TRUMANN, Ark. -- Trumann police detective Jerry Foster says investigators do not suspect foul play in the fire deaths of a mother and her four children.
Authorities believe the family most likely suffocated from smoke inhalation in last week's fire. The victims were identified as 26-year-old Beatrice Ivy, who relatives said was seven months pregnant, and her children, six-year-old twins Sheryl and Jerald Mason; four-year-old D.J. Mason; and 22-month-old Sally Ann Mason.
Memorial candles were placed in front of the family's duplex Monday.
Reggie Ivy found the bodies of his sister and her children when he went to the home Friday night to check on the family. Ivy found the door unlocked, which he said was unusual. Ivy says it doesn't make sense that his sister didn't simply grab the children and run out.
Trumann's fire chief believes the fire may have been caused by a cigarette lighter on a couch near the tree, or faulty christmas tree lights. Police say that preliminary results from the autopsies on the Ivy family may be available by the end of the week. The bodies were sent to the State Crime Lab in Little Rock for examination.
Officials say the fire started near a Christmas tree. Investigators say a smoke alarm apparently alerted the mother. The scene looks like someone moved the burning tree, which caused the fire to spread quickly.
Meanwhile, a fund has been set up to help offset costs for the Ivy funerals. Donation can be made at the following locations: