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Community Reaches Out After Deadly Fire

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

A community is still in shock over the Christmas Eve deaths of four young people.

3-year-old Brandon, 5-year-old Wayne and 7-year-old Timothy Elam were inside a home in Mt. Sterling with their 17-year-old cousin, Shirley Rothwell, when flames broke out Wednesday.

Neighbors pulled the four from the burning home, but it appears they all died from smoke inhalation.

Thursday night, dozens turned out for a vigil in the children's honor and the community support is still strong.

Several funds have been set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses.

The family has set up a fund in in memory of the children. You can make a donation at Peoples Bank locations in and around Mt. Sterling under the Rothwell Fund.

Funds are also being collected at Mt. Sterling Elementary School. You can send checks or money to:

6601 Indian Mound Drive
Mt. Sterling, KY 40353

A friend of the family, Bill Alfrey has donated four plots in a local cemetery where the children will be buried.

Visitation for the four will be held Monday at the First Baptist Church from 5-9 p.m. in Mt. Sterling.

The funerals will be held Tuesday at one o'clock at the church.

The burials will follow at Machpelah Cemetery.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire. Linda Yarber, the mother of 17-year-old Shirley Rothwell, says she believes it was electrical and told her landlord numerous times they were having problems.

The family says they appreciate all the support the community has given them. They didn't have life insurance for the three boys, or their cousin.


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