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3 killed in 'suspicious' Wetzel Co. house fire

Updated: Tuesday, January 14 2014, 04:29 PM EST

By: NEWS9 and Crissy Clutter

Officials are seeking the cause of a house fire that claimed the lives of three people Monday night in Wetzel County.

West Virginia State Police said two men and one woman were killed in the blaze on Cliff Run Road in Littleton. Two of the victims were identified as 55-year-old Carmen McDougal and 63-year-old Michael McDougal, who both lived at the house. A third victim, a man, has yet to be identified by the Medical Examiner's Office.

According to a press release from the West Virginia State Police Office of Public Affairs, "The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fire. The preliminary investigation revealed that the cause of the fire is suspicious; however, a final determination has not been made."

The fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. at the home near Route 250 and continued smoldering through Tuesday afternoon. The release stated that when a state police trooper and first responders arrived at the scene, the house was fully engulfed in flames.

W.Va. Assistant State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic said "When you have one, it's bad enough. But when you have multiple fatalities, it makes it worse."

Baltic said it was very difficult for crews to fight the blaze because the home is on a very narrow road.

"They weren't able to get any large apparatus into the scene. They had to take small trucks into the scene. They were able to hand-pull a hose. That was an impressive feat," Baltic said.

State police said in their release that, "The State Fire Marshal's Office would like to remind the public that any information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arson suspect may result in an award up to $5,000."

The Arson Hotline Number is 800-233-3473. Anyone with information can also call the NEWS9 Lauttamus Security Crime Busters Tipline at 800-862-BUST or email crimebusters@wtov.com.

Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.

3 killed in 'suspicious' Wetzel Co. house fire

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