Fire Deaths

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Smoking in an oxygen-enriched environment is being cited by the state fire marshal's office as the cause of a Saturday house fire in Wood River.

Fire marshal's office spokesman Ray Nance said Wednesday that investigators had completed their work and the probable cause of the fire is mishandling of smoking materials in an oxygen-enriched environment.

Captains Kenny Woitalewicz and Bobby Heminger were critically injured when they attemped to rescue 73-year-old Anna Carrig from her burning home Saturday. She later died. Heminger died Sunday of his injuries. Woitalewicz died Tuesday.

Fire officials noted Carrig had been on oxygen 24 hours a day for an extended time because of health reasons.

A funeral was held yesterday for Carrig. Services were held today (Thursday) for the two firefighters killed.

Firefighters and supporters from around the state made their way to Wood River today to pay tribute to two of the small town's firefighters.

Today, fire trucks draped with black sashes ambled through the streets as people walked several blocks to the Wood River High School for the afternoon funeral services for the firefighters.

Carrig's daughter, Laurie Lacker of Cincinnati, Ohio, says the family would not attend the services. She says the family wanted to spare the firefighters' families the emotional trauma of seeing her family in the crowd.

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