Deadly house fire believed to have been sparked by a child

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Colorado Springs Fire Department says a deadly house fire was human-caused and may have been preventable.

On Monday, the fire department said the cause of the fire at 739 Cucharras Street was started by a "transient heat source" such as a match or lighter. Family members told investigators that the children involved had previously misused fire on several occasions, setting fire to household items. Fire investigators found evidence that supports the kids may have set something on fire creating the Nov. 1 blaze.

“Every fire fatality is a tragedy for a family, and has a profound effect on our firefighters as well as our community. The CSFD is committed to saving lives, and we will continue to teach the value of smoke alarms and the importance of fire safety through our fire and life safety education programs,” expressed Fire Chief Ted Collas in a release.

The department encourages anyone that observes a child misusing fire to make a referral by contacting them at or by calling 719-385-7376. The department says referral may save someone’s life.

Investigators also found out there were no working smoke alarms in the home.

The identities of the adult and child who diedwere identified as 40-year-old Michael Ashley and 6-year-old Devyn Johnson.

Crews were called to the structure fire in the 700 block of E. Cucharras Street at about 2 p.m. A 2-year-old was also listed in critical condition and flown by helicopter to a Denver hospital. Their current condition is unknown.

A criminal investigation started the day of the fire. The following Monday, police ruled out any suspicious activity.