By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

HERMISTON — The fire that killed two Hermiston women last week has been determined to be accidental.

Hermiston Fire District Fire Marshall Tom Bohm said on Monday the fire most likely started in the living room of the manufactured home at 935 Stockton Avenue on Feb. 6. The likely cause was an electrical short in an extension cord.

The fire claimed the lives of 85-year-old Lydia Pedersen and her daughter, Aloma, 45. The home was gutted and sustained extensive smoke damage.

"This is a good time to remind people — don't use extension cords as permanent wiring," Bohm said.

Working smoke detectors are key, too, says the fire marshall. A smoke detector had once been in the hallway between the bedrooms where the victims were found but had been removed. There was a smoke detector in the master bedroom at the south end of the building; however, no one was in that room at the time of the fire.

Bohm recommends a smoke detector in the hallway of any home, as well as one in each bedroom.

Karen Hutchinson-Talaski can be reached at ktalaski@hermistonherald.com.

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