Fire marshal releases cause of fatal Pubnico Head fire that killed four children

Nova Scotia's fire marshal says his office must do a better job of letting the public know about the cause of fires like the one last month that claimed the lives of four children in rural Pubnico Head.

Fred Jeffers says heat from a wood stove was the source of ignition for the deadly fire on Jan. 7, and he confirmed that the origin of the blaze was around the chimney.

He released the information today after a spokeswoman for the provincial government refused last week to release the basic findings of the fire marshal's investigation, citing "privacy laws."

The fire marshal says his office is not in the habit of routinely releasing such information, but he confirmed basic findings have been released in the past when doing so was in the public interest.

Emma Kennedy and her common-law partner Phil Prouty escaped the blaze, but the fast-moving fire killed four-month-old Winston Prouty, four-year-old Jayla Kennedy, seven-year-old Mya Prouty and seven-year-old Mason Grant, a cousin who was visiting for a sleepover.

Jeffers says there needs to be more openness when it comes to releasing basic information to the public.