Woman killed in Nicholas County fire

NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Patricia Kearns' family members say she'd been concerned about their wood-burning stove. They believe that's what started the fire that killed her and destroyed their home along Hick-Hardy Road in Nicholas County.

"She would get up every morning and drink her coffee and make her round of phone calls because she lived everybody and wanted to make sure everybody was ok and didn't need anything," said her daughter, Hannah Callahan.

Kearns shared the home with her husband, her daughter and son-in-law, and their two children.

"Her grand babies, Jacob and mason, those boys were her world. She'd do without just to make sure them boys were ok," said her son-in-law, Jeremy Callahan.

"She sent us a message saying that the fire looked like it was going to get out of control. She thought she might have had it under control. Next thing you know, we got a call that the house was on fire," Jeremy Callahan said.

They believe it was that stove that sparked the fire. A neighbor saw it and rushed to put the flames out with a nearby garden hose, but it was no match for the fire. Initially, they thought Patricia might have made it out, but those hopes were dashed when emergency workers found her body inside.

"She's going to be their guardian angel. I know it," Hannah Callahan said.

Kentucky State Police are handling the investigation.

The family is accepting donations to help them find a new place to live. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation to the Kearns Family Fire Fund at any Kentucky Bank Location.

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