Local News

Burning Cigarette Cause Of Fatal N.C. State House Fire, Officials Say

Posted October 26, 2005

— Raleigh fire investigators said Tuesday that a smoldering cigarette was to blame for a fatal house fire that killed two fraternity members at North Carolina State University earlier this month.

  • Mark Brandon Davis of Raleigh, a senior majoring in materials science engineering, and Dylan Pilkington of Grifton, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, died Oct. 7 at a duplex on

    Groveland Avenue

    , which is just off Oberlin Road. Both were members of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.

    The night before the fire, investigators said there had been a small gathering in the lower floor of the house, a game room, where eight fraternity members had been watching an N.C. State football game. Authorities believe that someone had left the cigarette burning.

    Investigators said the victims likely died from smoke inhalation while trying to escape the duplex. A third fraternity brother, Jason Pfister, of Greensboro, was able to jump from a second-floor window. He suffered broken bones.

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