Kentucky House Fire Claims Four

LOUISVILLE, Ky. --

The holiday is off to a dismal start for one family, after four people die in a house fire.

The fire broke out at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday at a home on Clay Street.

Four deaths were confirmed by police, but only three identities have been released. Four more people have been hospitalized.

Officers said Amarion Seargent, 5, and Anton Seargent, 3, died at Kosair Hospital due to fire-related injuries. The boys were said to be cousins.

Gabrial Johnson, 21, died at University Hospital at 8:41 a.m. Officers said she was a friend of the family.

"When the first units arrived they encountered heavy fire, heavy smoke coming from the two-story home," said Sgt. Salvador Melendez, of the Louisville Fire Department.

Firefighters pulled five children and four adults from the home as neighbors watched.

"It's something that we as firefighters do not want to be facing. We understand that we have a job to do and we're here to respond to the call, but it's pretty tough," Melendez said.

A man was pronounced dead at the scene, but his identity has not been released.

Firefighters are investigating but said the fire appears to have started in the front of the home.

It took 35 firefighters about 30 minutes to put the fire out.

"I was asleep. I heard banging on the door and opened it up, and Adrianna was saying, 'My kids, fire, they're in there,'" family friend Brenda Watkins said.

A neighbor said they knew both children.

"He sucked his thumb a lot, didn't want anybody messing with him. He's a little tough little boy," Watkins said.

The death of Johnson devastated her parents.

"It's going to be hard. I can't wake up and call her; it's going to be hard," Gabrial Johnson's sister, Shadonna Johnson, said.

Fire investigators said they know the fire started in the front of the home but still don't know what caused it or why the people inside didn't wake up.

"We could hear some smoke detectors actively chirping after the fire; we don't know if they were actively going at the time of the fire," Melendez said.

Two children remain in critical condition at Kosair Hospital, and two adults were treated at Jewish Hospital for shortness of breath.

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