CAUSE OF COTTAGE FIRE THAT KILLED RIVERDALE FAMILY UNKNOWN

Aug 03, 2017

By Bob Komsic

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After a seven-month investigation, the Office of the Fire Marshall has concluded that the source of the deadly Christmas Eve cottage fire that killed a Riverdale family of four is undetermined.
(Photo courtesy of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt)
56-year-old Geoff Taber, his 47-year-old wife Jacquie Gardner and their 15 and 13-year-old sons Scott and Andrew, as well as their two dogs, died in the blaze in their cottage in the McCrackens Landing area of Stoney Lake.
Investigators were able to isolate the source of the fire as coming from the living room, but because of the extent of damage, just what set off the blaze remains undetermined.
The cottage had multiple wall-mounted smoke alarms, but investigators do not think they were installed in the vaulted ceiling above the living room and nearby stairwell.
That ”ultimately played a role in the inability for the victims to escape safely,” said the Fire Marshall’s Office.
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