"I'm sorry for the lady that raised those girls, but [I] don't know who's who," the landlord said. "I just know I was good to them. When Alisha was living, she told me I was good to her. She was good, too. She was nice."
After the fire, Shamblin said, she started having heart problems and gets upset when reporters ask her questions.
"It's going to affect you. Anything like that is going to affect you," Shamblin said. "It's like being in a hurricane, I guess. I was in the spot when the hurricane came through."
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released the results of its investigation into the fire earlier this year.
Although names and some details were redacted, the report shows investigators switching back and forth between two theories about how the blaze started.
Unable to find any other ignition sources, firefighters traced the fire to a home entertainment center in the house's sunroom. There, they found the remains of a TV stand, a melted DVD player, CD and VCR cases, metal boxes, a Suddenlink cable box, an Xbox video system, a Wii video system and a PlayStation video system. It was later confirmed that Carter-Camp owned a 60-inch flat-screen TV.
Firefighters also discovered the remains of a candleholder, which was picked up by a dog trained to detect ignition sources.
Carter-Camp was celebrating her birthday the night before, but several witnesses said all candles were eventually extinguished.
"The cause of the fire should be left as undetermined due to lack of enough evidence to support the candle theory or the electronics theory," the report concludes.
The fire appeared to have traveled through the house in two directions, forming distinct patterns across multiple rooms. Latasha Jones-Isabell, the only survivor of the fire, said she went outside to smoke a cigarette before the blaze started. She told investigators she couldn't get back in the house.
Bringing it down
Shamblin said she wants to demolish the house but can't, because it is involved in possible civil litigation. She wouldn't talk about that, or say who her attorney is.
Charleston City Attorney Paul Ellis said the city has sought to demolish the house, but hit a legal wall without a court order.
The house, Ellis said, is being preserved by multiple insurance agencies representing Shamblin and the victims.
"The reason it hasn't come down is because of the various lawyers involved, in and out of state," he said. "We want it to come down, but it's being held up in the legal process."
Ellis said his elderly grandfather lives a few doors away from the burned house. "Nobody would be more in tune to the situation than me," he said.
Ultimately, the structure's demolition would fall upon Shamblin and her insurance agency, Ellis said.
Shamblin said her lawyers told her the house couldn't be demolished yet.
"I think it's been long enough myself," she said. "I know them people want it cleaned up. I can't do nothing."
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.