Body found in Russell County house fire identified

JABEZ, Ky. (WKYT) - Porter Cain lived in a small trailer nestled near the banks of Lake Cumberland in Russell County, where taking care of a cat, and working on computers took much of the 50-year-old man’s time.

“He was very intelligent. A quiet guy, he was loved by everyone. He was a brother to me even though he was my uncle,” said nephew Tyler McClendon

Yet a late night fire took his life.

Investigators returned to the scene Thursday morning and pulled a space heater from the rubble, placing initial blame on it for sparking the fire.

“Just doesn’t seem it was an accident..he was smart. I don’t think it was a heater. I think it was more of a power surge,” said McClendon.

The victim's mother echoed the power problems as well, stating that her son had problems with the electric service before.

However, South Ky. RECC, which provides electric service in the area, issued a statement about the claims of an electrical problem sparking the fire. It states:

“South Kentucky RECC rec’d a call at around 12:15 last (Wednesday) night that there was a structure fire on McClendon Road. At that time, two crewmen were dispatched to disconnect the power to the structure.

We were very sorry to hear that someone had succumbed in the blaze. As per routine, we ran a voltage history on the meter at the structure. We have been doing this weekly on all meters on our system since August, 2012. We found that the voltage on the meter at the structure has always been well within tolerance, and the meter, itself, did not show any signs of damage.

As always, we are willing to cooperate with any ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire.”

Investigators said they didn’t find evidence of smoke detectors.

“As far as I know there probably wasn’t. I don’t know for sure,” said McClendon.

Investigators say they believe Cain was asleep when the fire started, and probably never woke up.

“It’s just a shock. Can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. Hasn’t sunk in yet,” McClendon said.

Cain’s body was sent to Frankfort where an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

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