Firefighters: Fire that killed father, four children broke our hearts

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Firefighters who battled a fire that killed a father and his four young children are talking about it for the first time.

William Wilfong and his children, ages six months to 5 years, died in the fire at their home in the Jonancy community Wednesday morning.

The childrens' mother, Tammy Tucker, survived. At last check, she was listed in serious condition at UK Hospital.

Firefighters say the fire has been on their mind the last few days.

"We never want to see a tragedy like that, but you know that is what we are here for is to help," Randy Courtney, president of the Pike County Firefighters Association, said. "It's always bad when you lose a life, especially children."

The aftermath of this fire lingers as many people mourn the loss, and wonder what this family could have done differently to save their lives.

Investigators say the family did not have a smoke detector in their home. Firefighters say smoke detectors and fire escape plans can save lives.

"The information is here (at the fire station) all the time, which should be on the forefront of everybody's minds," Pikeville Fire Marshal Eddie Greenhill said.

Firefighters are hoping other people can learn from what went wrong in this fire.

"It's hard on the responders, EMTS, everybody, as well as the community," Courtney said. "And we sure pray for them and hope that they can recover from this."

A vigil will be held for the fire victims Saturday afternoon in the Virgie community of Pike County.

It begins at 5 p.m. at Longfork Park.

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