6 killed in Md. mansion fire died of smoke inhalation, heat

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Maryland's medical examiner's office says six family members killed in a massive mansion died of thermal injuries and smoke inhalation.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released its findings confirming the deaths were accidental on Monday. Don and Sandra Pyle and their four grandchildren were killed in the Jan. 20 fire near Annapolis, caused after an electric spark spread to a 15-foot Christmas tree.

The blaze reduced a 16,000-square-foot riverfront mansion to ashes.

The four grandchildren killed were two sets of siblings between the ages of 6 and 8. The children are survived by their parents, who weren't in the mansion at the time of the fire.

Investigators are working to determine how the fire traveled so fast and may have blocked escape routes.

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