Mother loses battle after fire injuries

ELKINS – Jennifer Chamberlain, the mother of the four children who died in the Central Street fire on Oct. 28, succumbed to her injuries, passing away Tuesday, Elkins Fire Department Chief Tom Meader confirmed to The Inter-Mountain.

Meader said he “received a call from the (state) fire marshal” notifying him of Chamberlain’s death. This news comes only a day after her brother, Jeff Hyde, was released from the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, where they both were being treated after last month’s horrific blaze.

Fire-related injuries also claimed the lives of Chamberlain’s husband, Alan, 29, and the family’s four children: Katie Bolger, 11; Isabella Chamberlain, 4; Brienna Chamberlain, 2; and Alanna Chamberlain, 2.

Last week, officials from the State Fire Marshal’s Office confirmed that the fatal fire started in a couch on the side porch of the residence. Officials said there was no evidence the fire was intentionally set.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, in his weekly column dated Nov. 1, indicated a cigarette may have started the blaze.

Elkins and members of the surrounding communities have rallied in support of the family. Multiple fundraisers have been planned, and nearly $100,000 has been raised to date to help cover medical costs and funeral expenses.

Hundreds attended a candlelight vigil held for the family Nov. 4 in downtown Elkins. Teddy bears, stuffed animals and candles were left by wellwishers to adorn the steps and the walkway of the Chamberlain home.

A fundraiser on Saturday in Mill Creek raised $50,000 for the family. A spaghetti dinner benefit is scheduled at First Baptist Church in Elkins from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.