By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
An early evening fire Tuesday left a Gray family homeless.
West Knox Volunteer Fire Department Chief Darryl Baker said the cause remains under investigation.
Carla Smith, her boyfriend Derrick Scott, her son, Danny Smith and his girlfriend Rebecca Adkins, and her 4-year-old granddaughter, Destiny, lived in the rental property on Highway 1232 in Gray.
But they won’t get to stay in it now — the home suffered serious fire and water damage, especially to the upper floor.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do now,” she said.
She did say they plan to stay with Scott’s mother for now.
Baker said the call came out about 6:30 p.m. Besides West Knox, Bailey Switch Volunteer Fire Department brought a tanker to the scene.
Smith said she was cooking chili for dinner, and needed chili powder from the store.
“I went out to the store, and when I came back, they were dragging stuff out the front door,” Smith said. “I got here right after they called the fire department.”
She said they were bringing the couches outside. “There was smoke coming out of the roof,” she said. “They knocked the door off the hinges trying to get out.”
She said the family did try to save what they could. “I didn’t want to leave my (father’s) dresser and chest in there,” she said. “He’s passed away now and it can’t be replaced.”
Except for Smith, she said everyone else was home when the fire broke out. “None of the smoke detectors went off,” she said. “I had just put in new batteries, but they didn’t go off.”
The property is owned by Reba Kelley, according to Smith. Despite being no official cause, Smith feels she knows how the fire started. “My guess it was electrical,” she said. “I woke up the other night and heard this popping and crackling near the fuse box.”
Crew members went through the house with a thermal imaging camera, according to Baker, to ensure all the “hot spots” were extinguished.
He also said the family’s Christmas presents were hidden on the second floor — which appears to have suffered the bulk of the fire damage.
But Christmas presents were not the only items lost in Tuesday’s fire. “We’ve lost almost everything,” Smith said. “There’s just no saving anything.”
Baker said if the homeowner has insurance, then insurance investigators from the company will review the fire. If not, Baker says the Kentucky State Police will get involved.
It was unknown at press time whether the homeowner carried insurance on the home.
After the fire was under control, Smith was allowed to return to the home, but only to retrieve items from the home’s garage. The main house is too dangerous to enter. “We’re just trying to get some stuff out before somebody comes along and steals it.”
She took a deep breath.
“I’m still shaking,” she said, her voice quavering. “But thankfully, everybody’s OK.”
If anyone would like to help the family during this tough time, they may call Ms. Smith at (606) 304-5985.
By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
- Local News
Letter discussed by airport board
Negotiations between the Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport Board and one of the airport’s private tenants appeared to be going along smoothly Thursday night — but a few sentences from the board’s vice-chairman and those negotiations came to a halt.
Hearings continued in murder case
Competency hearings slated for a husband and wife accused of murdering a father of four were continued Thursday in Knox County Circuit Court.
Couple indicted for murder of 2-year-old
A pair of preliminary hearings slated for Wednesday didn’t happen for a couple accused of murdering the woman’s 2-year-old daughter.
Lions Club Christmas Basket signups continue
A holiday tradition in Corbin started their 65th consecutive year Thursday, as the Corbin Lions Club began their first day of signups for their annual Christmas Basket program.
Holocaust survivor Fred Gross speaks at Corbin Middle
Using words and pictures to describe his experiences, author and Louisville resident Fred Gross held the audience at Corbin Middle School spellbound Thursday.
Survey results reviewed
Another step in the process on picking Corbin High School’s new principal was taken Wednesday, when the school’s Site-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council unanimously approved the criteria to help them make that decision.
Disney pleads guilty, avoids trial in robbery case
A Gray man pleaded guilty to the December 2012 robbery of a convenience store Wednesday in Laurel County Circuit Court.
Fiscal court approves truck purchase, bid advertisement during meeting
The Laurel County Fiscal Court held a special meeting Wednesday morning to discuss the approval of the purchase of a used truck for the Laurel County Highway Department as well as advertising for bids for janitorial services.
Body found in North Corbin, autopsy planned
An autopsy will be conducted in Frankfort today (Wednesday), to determine the cause of death of a North Corbin woman who was found outside her home Tuesday.
Corbin man arrested for burglary
A Corbin man has been arrested in connection with the Monday burglary of a convenience store, according to Corbin Police Public Affairs Officer Maj. Rob Jones.
- More Local News Headlines
- Letter discussed by airport board