Kentucky State Police say five kids and two adults have died in a house fire in Knox County. A family member rushed to the scene of a house fire in Knox County on Saturday to try to save the people inside, but the two adults and five children in the small house all died.
The blaze happened just before 10 a.m. in a home on Sam Parker Road in the Knox County community of Gray, WLEX-TV, Lexington, reported. The woman who died was three months pregnant, according to relatives of the man with whom she was living.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but KSP does not believe foul play is involved. State Police said the cause of the fire, which was extinguished by 12:30 p.m., had not been determined but they did not believe foul play was involved, the TV station said.
The two adults and three of the children lived at the house, but two little girls who died were there for a sleepover, family members of the victims said.
The deaths devastated family members, said Ray Disney, an uncle of the man who died.
“It’s a sad day,” Disney said as he looked at the burned house.
Police did not release the names of those who died. Autopsies will be required to make a formal identification, authorities said.
“They were the best kids in the world,” William Gray, the father of the three, said through tears.
Two other girls, who died, thought to be ages 3 and 2, were at the house for a sleep over. Their names were not available Saturday.
All seven likely died of smoke inhalation, according to relatives of Jesse Disney.
Jesse Disney’s parents live just behind the house that burned, said Ray Disney. Police said a neighbor spotted the smoke and called authorities. The fire was reported to state police at 9:57 a.m.
Family members identified the adults as Jesse Disney, who was in his mid-20s; his girlfriend, Nina Asher, 22, who was pregnant with their child; and her three children from a prior relationship, William, 3; Camden, 2; and Abigail, who was not quite a year old.
Disney, Asher and the children had stayed up late for the slumber party — a relative reported talking to Disney at 2:18 a.m. Saturday — so they apparently were asleep when the fire started.
It appeared Jesse Disney had started toward the room where the five children were sleeping, Ray Disney said.
Family members say they believe Jesse Disney was trying to get to the children, but was overcome by smoke.
Ray Disney said someone called his brother-in-law Gino Cima who with his wife owns the house, to tell him about the fire, and Cima rushed to the house. Cima went to a back door and found Asher lying just inside the door. He dragged her out, but she was dead, Disney said. Cima found Jesse Disney a few feet further into the house and pulled him out, but he was dead as well.
Asher’s three children were typical, fun-loving kids, family members said.
“They were full of life. They were beautiful,” said Maria Disney. “It was a beautiful little family.”
Jesse Disney had had a hip replaced as a child and was on disability, but he helped his father a great deal, working in the garden and helping him build guitars, Ray Disney said.