GRAY, Ky. – A fire that roared through a ranch-style home in rural, southeastern Kentucky has killed two adults and five children, authorities said.
The identities of the victims were withheld while relatives were being notified following Saturday's fire. Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins said autopsies were planned in Frankfort, likely on Tuesday.
Blevins said the adult victims found inside the home were a woman and her boyfriend. The woman was the mother of three of the children who died, while two other children were from another family, he said Saturday afternoon.
Blevins and Kentucky State Police said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation. Arson investigators went to the scene, but officials said no foul play was suspected.
Knox County is in a coal field region of the state. The fire broke out in the community of Gray, located about halfway between Lexington, Ky., and Knoxville, Tenn.
Troopers said someone called 911 at 9:57 a.m. Saturday. Witnesses reported flames shooting from windows and dense smoke. Firefighters stayed on the scene until the fire was out at 1 p.m., the house gutted and smoldering.
On Jan. 9, four children and their father died in an early morning blaze in Jonancy, in Pike County in the Appalachian region of the state — about 2 1/2 hours east of Gray. The mother of those children survived with serious burns. The family had been sleeping near an electric space heater when the fire began, and the space heater likely started the fire, officials said.