UPDATE 1-15-2019 - A Clay WV fire that killed four foster children has devastated the community, with community members supporting a young couple that decided to foster care children because they could not have children themselves.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic said Monday the damage was likely too extensive to be able to determine exactly what started the fire. Baltic said the foster parents were able to point out a relative area where the fire began.

The house, believed to be about 100-years-old, was a balloon construction house, meaning the studs ran from the floor to the roof with no fire breaks. Baltic said that caused the flames to spread very quickly once they reached the area behind the walls.

The house had smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a fire escape plan and fire extinguishers.

Baltic said three of the four children who died were upstairs when the fire began. He said their foster parents and a teenager tried numerous times to reach them.

DHHR said that an in-person visit by a DHHR worker was last made to the foster home last month and no issues were noted, while neighbors told media the couple were excellent managers.

There will be a candle light vigil for the four children. It will be Tuesday evening at 6:00 in front of the Clay County Court House. The three girls went to Clay Elementary School. School staff said there were extra counselors on hand Monday, to talk with students about the tragedy.


UPDATE 1-13-2019 - Clay County sources told the Hur Herald that the four children that burned to death in an early morning fire in downtown Clay were foster children.

The children, a 6-month-old boy, and three girls ages 3, 4, and 8.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Bureau for Children and Families confirms the children were in foster care at the Clay home.

"Today was a tragic event for four young foster children," said Linda Watts, Commissioner for DHHR's Bureau for Children and Families. "We are truly saddened by the loss experienced."

Troopers are saying four other people were able to escape the home, including a 2-year-old boy. The surviving victims were taken CAMC in Charleston for treatment.

Reports say their conditions appear to be good.

The family had working smoke detectors and an escape plan but not everyone was able to get out safely.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic said it appears one of the victims was trying to follow the family's fire escape plan but didn't make it.

"More than likely they were disoriented by the smoke. They did have an escape plan. The unfortunate thing is when you do that and you are talking about young children, when it really comes down to it the fear factor comes into play," Baltic said.

Baltic said the cause of the blaze is currently undetermined but there's no reason to believe it was arson.

Baltic said the two adults were released from Charleston Area Medical Center not long after the fire. He wasn't sure about the two children. He said none of the four were seriously injured.

Photos courtesy of

1/13/2019 -First responders are on scene of a deadly house fire that broke out on Main St. overnight in the town of Clay.

West Virginia State Police said four children died in the fire.

The fire started Saturday night just before midnight.

One child was also able to escape. At least two adults have been taken to the hospital.

Firefighters are working to determine the cause of the fire. No other details have been released.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.

The landmark well-kept Velt King house was completely burned to the ground.

The Clay and Lizemore VFDs were still on the scene Sunday morning.

More to follow...