Investigation closed regarding fatal Greenville fire

May 1—GREENVILLE — No criminal charges will be filed in the fatal March 31 fire that killed a mother and two children in Greenville.

Mercer County District Attorney Peter Acker announced Monday he had closed his investigation into why lag screws were installed into the second floor exit of a residence at 411 S. Main St., Greenville, according to a press release.

The residence was the site of a triple fatal fire. Diana Mayes-Britton, 35, and her children Johnathan and Olivia Mayes, 11-year-old twins perished in the fire.

Acker said the lag screws secured the door and posed an obstacle preventing Mayes-Britton and the children from escaping.

Mercer County Coroner John Libonati previously said the three were found in an upstairs bedroom and were apparently trying to escape when they died. Diana's husband, Timothy Britton, and others survived the fire.

The district attorney's investigation was specifically examining the installation of lag screws into a second-floor exit door.

Last week, Acker and investigators from the Greenville police, state Police fire marshals and the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms met with Timothy at the Greenville Police Department. Timothy was "fully cooperative" in the discussion, the release states.

Timothy told investigators that he installed the lag screws into the door at the request of his wife about three to four months before the fire. The lag screws were installed to prevent unauthorized entrances and exits through the door, the release states.

There is no requirement under law that there be a second floor exit from an owner-occupied residential dwelling as opposed to rules covering the building when it was a group home for MCAR, a Mercer County-based social service agency.

Acker said MCAR operated the group home until 2018.

During the fire, Timothy and others were able to escape the second floor by going out a window onto a porch roof, the release states.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but authorities said in the release that it does not appear to be suspicious.

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