Officials blame faulty electrical outlet and a dry Christmas tree that caused a mansion fire in Annapolis, Maryland, in mid-January.

The fire broke in the $6 million mansion in the early hours of Jan. 19. A faulty electrical outlet spread the fire to a 15-foot Christmas tree that resulted in the death of the mansion owners and their four grandchildren.

Officials suggest that the tree was about two months old and was placed in the "great room" that had a ceiling reaching to 19 feet.

Fire investigators suggest that an electrical outlet in the great room's floor provided enough power for the tree to produce heat and then ignite. The dryness of the two-month old tree acted as fuel for the fire before it spread to other parts of the mansion.

"I think it's more about the actual fuel load of the Christmas tree and the output of energy and heat from that particular fuel load that caused the rapid fire spread," says Deputy Chief Scott Hoglander of the Anne Arundel County fire marshal's office. "It really had nothing to do with the building construction itself."

Don Pyle, the 56-year-old mansion-owner along with his 63-year-old wife Sandra Pyle was identified by the chief medical examiner. The couple's four grandchildren named Lexi Boone, Katie Boone, Charlotte Boone, and Wes Boone were also identified amongst the dead. All the children were under 10 years.

The medical examiner has not yet confirmed the cause of the deaths but a person familiar with the matter suggests that all six died due to smoke inhalation and burns.

The fire was first reported at around 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 19 by a neighbor, who spotted the fire flames and also by an alarm-monitoring company. Hoglander revealed that smoke detectors were installed in the house and there was no sign that they did not work.

Emergency services arrived at the mansion within two minutes from the call made by the neighbor. About 85 firefighters tried to contain the fire that had spread to the 16,000 square feet mansion.

Authorities reveal that the mansion was built by the Pyles in 2005, which is four years before the county started requiring water sprinkler systems to be installed in new homes. Water sprinklers are effective way of containing a fire and their installation in the Pyles mansion may have saved the lives of the couple and the four children.

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