Fire that killed soldier, girls ruled accidental

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) -- An unattended charcoal grill may have ignited the early morning fire that killed a decorated Green Beret and his young daughters.

Cumberland County investigators ruled Tuesday that Chief Warrant Officer Edward Cantrell, 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia died from smoke inhalation as the result of an accidental fire. Cantrell leapt from the second floor of their burning house in Hope Mills on March 6, only to wrap himself in a blanket and run back
inside for the girls.

Investigators said the fire began on an outdoor deck near a charcoal grill, though damage to the home was too extensive to make a definitive determination.

Cantrell served six combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, returning from his last mission in August. He earned four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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