The house fire that killed a mother and her three children in Alexandria, Ont. last August has been ruled an accident by the Ontario Fire Marshall.

The fire marshall said an improperly discarded cigarette led to the fire.

Sarah Cholette, her daughter Chloe, 3, and her eight-month-old son Jacob died in the early morning blaze.

Cholette's partner, Martin Desjardins, survived the fire by jumping out of a window with their other son, Maxime. The 22-month-old later died in hospital.

The fire originated on the front porch of the home, blocking the only exit out of the building.

There were fire alarms in the home but there was no battery in the one located outside of the sleeping areas on the second floor.