Dewey, state investigators: Cause of house fire 'undetermined'

DEWEY, Okla. - Formerly ruled as "suspicious," a fire that broke out at a garage apartment in Dewey last week is now being labeled "cause undetermined," according to officials.

"There is no evidence for arson and we are thinking it was possibly spontaneous combustion," Dewey Police Investigator Tim Stringer told 2NEWS Wednesday morning, citing a conclusion made recently by investigators with the police department and the state fire marshall's office.

Stringer said investigators believe the fire started from decomposing debris in a large garbage can located inside the building.

"Anytime you have decomposing material in combination with heat, you can have a fire."

Firefighters responded Thursday evening to a report that a long-abandoned garage apartment located behind a house on the 1000 block of Wyandotte was in flames.

When firefighters arrived to the scene, they found the building fully involved, but were able to douse the flames in the space of half an hour. By the time they left the scene an hour-and-a-half later, the house had sustained "significant" fire damage, according to the fire chief.

Stinger said due to the damage, the owner plans to tear down the structure.

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