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Page 13 of the Snicket File suspects that there is a survivor from the fire. But actually, this survivor is Quigley Quagmire, talked about later in this article, that escaped from the Fire that burnt down the Quagmire mansion. But experts think that a survivor of the fire of the Baudelaire mansion is still alive.
The precise cause of the fire has never been established and nobody was charged for setting it, but it is suspected that Count Olaf, who has a history of arson, started the fire to take control of the Baudelaire fortune and/or take revenge on Beatrice and Bertrand Baudelaire for killing his own parents. When confronted by the Baudelaire children with such accusations, Olaf does not give them a straight answer, simply replying, "Is that what you think?" It is also possible that Lemony Snicket himself was responsible for the fire, as in one of his dedications he writes "For Beatrice –Our love broke my heart, and stopped yours."
The three Baudelaire children were encouraged by their parents to go to Briny Beach before the fire occurred, and so, escaped. If the Baudelaire parents were, in fact, aware that the fire would occur, they were unable - or chose not - to save themselves, despite the Mansion having a secret passage way to the apartment of Jerome Squalor. As stated above, it is possible that Bertrand and Beatrice knew that they would be constantly targeted by Olaf and sacrificed their own lives to throw him off the trail of their children and the fortune - if this was their plan then, in the long run, it worked: Olaf died and their children escaped him, though they did have to escape him over and over again.
Due to the following statement on page 13 of The Snicket File, the children believe it is possible that one of the parents survived, but the survivor turned out to be Quigley Quagmire: : Because of the evidence discussed on page nine, experts now suspect that there may in fact be one survivor of the fire, but the survivor's whereabouts are unknown.