I was waiting to see if they were able to determine an exact reason but nothing has come out yet and this was the latest news from Monday:
SBI Fire Report Released
Updated: Nov 5, 2007 11:17 AM EST
OCEAN ISLE BEACH -- Agents from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have concluded their preliminary investigation of the fire scene on Scotland Street, in Ocean Isle Beach, NC that claimed seven lives.
Based on the fire scene examination, photographic and video evidence as well as all available witness statements, agents have confirmed that the area of origin was on the back deck of the residence.
Due to the extensive damage in that area, the exact cause of the fire is undetermined.
However, based on the investigation, agents could not rule out improperly discarded smoking materials as a possible cause of the fire.
To date, there have been no reports of any other sources of ignition within that area that could have served as a possible ignition source of the fire.
Additionally, there has been absolutely no evidence to indicate that the fire was intentionally set.
Agents point out that this remains an ongoing and active investigation. Agents are still focusing on several issues such as the rate of the fire spread and other contributing factors to the deaths of the students. Due to the complex nature of these issues, the final investigative report may not be completed for several weeks.
There will be a memorial service at Ocean Isle Beach Chapel on Sunday for the seven students. The service will begin at 9:30 a.m.