GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Authorities believe spilled kerosene from a portable heater may have sparked a house fire that killed three children and their mother Monday.
A 911 dispatcher told firefighters the blaze was reported around 7:33 a.m. when a child went to a neighbor's house and said people were trapped inside the two-story frame home in the Horse Creek community about 60 miles east of Knoxville.
Authorities discovered the bodies of a 27-year-old woman and three boys _ ages 6 months, 3 years and 9 years. Their names were not released and it was unknown whether they died from burns or smoke inhalation.
Two children and a pregnant woman who escaped the fire told officials that spilled kerosene caused the blaze.
The home was rented by two brothers and occupied by their families, according to authorities. Sheriff Steve Burns said investigators believe one family lived upstairs and the other downstairs.
Information from: The Greeneville Sun