Grill could have started fatal Hope Mills fire

Chief Warrant Officer Edward Cantrell died in Hope Mills, along with 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia.

March 20, 2012 2:28:57 PM PDT
Cumberland County Sheriff's arson investigators have determined that a fire that claimed the life of a father and his two daughters last week was an accident.

An investigation has shown that the fire began on an outdoor deck in an area where a charcoal grill was located.

Fire damage to the home was extensive and investigators have been unable to determine the exact source.

Thirty-six-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Edward Cantrell and his daughters, 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia, died of smoke inhalation. Their bodies were found by firefighters inside the home on March 6..

Thirty-seven-year old Louise Cantrell escaped the fire after jumping from a second story bedroom window of the home and ran to a nearby business to get help.

Cantrell and his daughters were buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

A spokesperson for U.S. Army Special Forces Command said Cantrell completed one deployment to Iraq and five deployments to Afghanistan, most recently redeploying in August, 2011.

In the service since 1994, he received four Bronze Star medals and one Purple Heart, among many awards and decorations.

"The soldiers and families of Special Forces Regiment are deeply saddened by this tragedy. There are no words to express the sorrow felt in our close-knit community when one of our families suffers such a loss. We will continue to provide the family our support, our friendship, and our prayers, and ask that the public respects their right to privately grieve," said Special Forces Command in a statement.

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