GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- The lone survivor of the Tucker house fire that killed a mom and her two daughters will not be charged.
In February 2016, a fire broke out at a home in the 1000 block of Pointer Ridge just before 9 p.m. Kathy Patterson and her two daughters, Kayla and Madeline, were killed in the fire. Kathy's husband Brent was the sole survivor.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said they did not find enough evidence to charge Brent Patterson with arson or murder in the fire.
"There is no smoking gun, there is no confession, there is no evidence that links [Brent Patterson]," Porter said.
Porter said there is a disagreement between the experts who investigated the case about what story the evidence tells. He said the fire was of human origin but "because of the destruction of the property" they cannot determine if the human cause was accidental or intentional.
They are closing the investigation but said it could reopen if more evidence was presented or a witness came forward. Porter said the nature of the case makes it difficult to prove because "arson cases are difficult."
In a phone interview with 11Alive, Brent Patterson said he was glad to hear of the outcome of the investigation.
Firefighters on the scene of the fire said Brent heard a crackling noise from upstairs and was able to get out of the home before the flames consumed it. However, the girls, ages 9 and 12, along with their mother were unable to escape. Brent was treated for burns by EMTs at the scene.
An autopsy from the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death for the victims was smoke inhalation and was considered to be an accident.
In April 2016, several agencies executed a search warrant and confiscated bags of evidence from the house. At the time, the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office said they were investigating the fire as possible arson. The burned-out home was torn down nearly five months later on July 5. At the time, District Attorney Danny Porter told 11Alive that tearing down the house would not have any effect on the investigation.
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