The Wayne County Outlook

Local News

March 19, 2013

Three people die in house fire

3-20-13 —     Three people died in a tragic house fire on Thursday, March 14 in the Windy community of Wayne County. A fourth person was rescued from the residence by a neighbor and survived the blaze, according to information released by officials.

    Douglas Walker, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene of the house fire on Highway 1009. Firefighters stated that Douglas Walker was found near the rear of the house, near where investigators have stated the blaze began.

    Melvina Walker, 60, and her grandson, Jaimie Elliott, 3, were rescued from a bedroom in the home by members of the Susie Fire Department. They were transported to the Wayne County Hospital, where they later died.

    This marked the first time that the Susie Fire Department had responded to a scene that involved fatalities, and it was difficult for volunteers with the department.

    "This was the first fatality that most members of this department have had to deal with," said Susie Fire Chief Kelly Ragan. "It is tough for them, especially when you have a three-year-old involved."

    This marks the first fire fatality in Wayne County since 2008, when two people died in separate blazes.

    Ragan said his department was notified of the fire at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday. When they arrived at the scene, much of the back of the residence was engulfed in flames and fire was coming out the roof.

    A female, identified by neighbors as Samantha Gregory, was pulled from the home by a neighbor before the fire department arrived.

    The Susie Fire Department was on the scene of the blaze until about 5:30 a.m., according to Ragan. Kentucky State Police and arson investigators were on the scene at that point. The Susie Fire Department was called back to the scene at about 6:45 a.m. to extinguish several areas where fire sparked back up.

    Ragan expressed appreciation to all the emergency workers who helped at the scene. The Monticello Fire Department provided tanker support to the Susie Fire Department and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department and Wayne County EMS were instrumental at the scene.

    "I am proud of my men and I just want to thank everybody who helped at the scene. Everyone worked together so well," said Ragan.

    According to a report issued by Kentucky State Police, the preliminary investigation shows that the fire began in a bathroom near the back of the house. An exact cause of the fire has not been determined, but no foul play is suspected.

    The investigation continues and is headed by Detective Brian Lewis, with Kentucky State Police.

    According to Wayne County Coroner Forrest Hicks, bodies of the three victims were transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort for autopsies on Friday, March 15.

    Funeral services were scheduled for this week for all three of the victims.


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