- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

WALDORF, Md. (AP) - Fire investigators are blaming an overloaded extension cord for a fire that killed a Charles County woman and her 6-year-old great-grandson.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office announced Tuesday that an electrical failure due to the overloaded extension cord started the fire at a Waldorf home last week. The single-story modular home on Poplar Hill Road was heavily damaged in the blaze.

Officials say 6-year-old Zavion Atkins and his great-grandmother, 68-year-old Bernice Washington, were asleep when the fire broke out in a hallway that separated their bedrooms. Four other family members inside the home were able to escape after the smoke alarm sounded, but firefighters found the woman and boy inside.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the pair succumbed to smoke inhalation and thermal burn injuries.

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