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Prosecutor: No criminal charges will be filed in 2018 deadly Benton Harbor motel fire

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 21:55:29-04

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP)  — Michigan prosecutors say no criminal charges will be filed in connection with a motel fire that killed five children and an adult from the same family.

RELATED: 5 children, 1 adult killed in southwest Michigan motel fire

Investigators determined the likely cause of the July 2018 fire at Benton Harbor's Cosmo Extended Stay Inn was careless use of a hot plate by a hotel guest.

Berrien County Prosecutor Michael J. Sepic said Monday that it's not alleged "nor does the evidence suggest" that someone intentionally caused the blaze.

Benton Harbor authorities say the child victims ranged from 2 to 10 years old. The adult was 26.

The family had been trying to exit the burning motel at the time of their deaths. Autopsies determined all six died of smoke inhalation.