LIBERTY, Ky. (AP) - A house fire claimed the lives of two Casey
County children early Thursday and caused minor injuries to another
child and two adults, according to Kentucky State Police.
The Casey County coroner's office identified the victims of the
12:50 a.m. EDT fire as Victoria Ashley Coy, 9, and Isaiah Haines,
4.
Christina Minnick, 25, the children's mother, and William Lee,
30, a friend, were injured in the fire and taken to Casey County
Hospital for treatment. Minnick suffered burns to her left arm, and
Lee had burns to his upper body, according to Algie Atwood, manager
of Casey County Ambulance service. Another child, Matthew Thompson,
about 7 years old, escaped with minor injuries.
Officials said Matthew and Lee both tried to rescue the children
who died.
Matthew reportedly cut his hand when he tried to break a window
to rescue Isaiah, said Tommy Smith, state police arson
investigator. The 4-year-old's body was recovered on a vanity where
he had apparently climbed in an attempt to get out the window.
Lee apparently had Victoria and Isaiah in his arms trying to get
out the door, but when Minnick opened the door an explosion
resulted, causing the door to shut, Smith said. Lee was knocked
back and dropped the children. Then he fell down.
The bodies were taken to the state medical examiner's office,
which said the children died from smoke inhalation.
Smith said the fire started in the flue above a wood stove. The
fire became too hot in the flue, then apparently spread.
Lee's parents, Harley and Clara Lee, were in the process of
building a house a few feet from the mobile home. The fire spread
to their house and burned the interior. They escaped without
injuries.
The scene of the fire was about three miles east of Liberty.
Fire Chief Michael McQueary of Poplar Springs Volunteer Fire
Department said he the fire was about a quarter mile away from his
home.
"I could see the fire burning from my house," he said. "I
knew we had trouble when they said the kids were trapped."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)