Victims identified in fatal Riverdale fire

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Mehgaan Jones


Riverdale police have released the identities of the victims in the Chateau Forest Apartments fire, which occurred last week in Riverdale.

According to Riverdale Police Chief Samuel F. Patterson, Courtney Danielle Bostic, 20, and Travis Lawson, 30, succumbed to smoke inhalation during the blaze last Tuesday, at 801 Chateau Lane, unit 116.

"They didn't die from burns, they died from smoke," Patterson said.

Bostic's body was located in the bathroom of the apartment, and Lawson was discovered in the hallway, just outside of the bathroom, he added.

"The official cause of the fire is undetermined," he said Thursday. "The furnace was the point of origin for the fire," he said.

Patterson said that fire officials suspect that the fire was accidental. "There was no foul play or suspicious activity," he said.

A total of eight apartment units were destroyed by the fire, according to Patterson. There was heavy fire damage in four units on the top floor of the apartment building, and heavy water and smoke damage, in four apartments on the bottom floor, Patterson added.

He added that five or six families were displaced in the fire.

According to a previous report by the Clayton News Daily, the police chief said that the American Red Cross was providing assistance to the displaced residents.

The two victims, who were friends, were scheduled to be evicted from the apartment, according to Patterson. "It is our understanding through the investigation that they had not officially been evicted," he said.

Patterson said two small children had lived in the home, but were not present at the time of the fire. The female victim of the fire is the children's mother, Patterson added.