HOOVER, AL (WSFA) - Investigators say they know what sparked a Days Inn hotel fire that killed four college students last Saturday.
An Alcohol-Tobacco-Firearm official says the fire started in the room used by a maintenance worker who left incense burning from a religious shrine. Investigators say he tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, but when that did not work, he went to alert the front desk.
Meanwhile, the fire continued to spread, trapping the four victims inside their room.
One of the girls called her mother and said that the roof was about to cave in on them inside the room.
An investigator said, "By the time they could get that water on the fire, the girls were already dead from the smoke."
The maintenance worker had been living in the United States illegally for two in half years and has been taken into custody by immigration officials.
Authorities ruled the fire accidental.