Four Young People Killed In House Fire

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

Just a day before Christmas, a Montgomery County family is dealing with the loss of four young people.

The flames broke out Wednesday morning on Foxway Drive in Mt. Sterling. The duplex was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Inside the home was 17-year-old Shirley Rothwell, and her three cousins who live across from her, 3-year-old Brandon Elam, 5-year-old Wayne Elam, and 7-year-old Timothy Elam.

The boys mother, Sandra Elam, tells 27 Newsfirst the boys spent the night at her sister's house the night before. A neighbor knocked on her to to alert her of the flames, and she rushed across the street to save her children, and her niece. No other family member was home at the time.

Neighbors tried to pull the four victims from the burning home, but they were not able to be saved.

The Montgomery County Coroner says all four died from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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  • by Kim on Jan 16, 2009 at 06:41 PM
    I need to know how to get in touch with this family. Its very urgent.
  • by linda Location: Bath co on Jan 16, 2009 at 08:45 AM
    to all the ones that have helped my family out thanks, and as for god letting this happen, well all I can say is that we have a loving caring god and he would never let such a thing happen to kids.. It just happened, we don't really know why it happened but i was told it was no accident so I don't really know for sure.. I was told that there was an arrest made on Thursday night over this matter.. I am the kids cousin and it hurts so bad cause I loved them so much, Shirley Dawn was always over at my moms playing with my daughter.. It devastated her , but i have no doubt in my mind that they are in a better place then we are... I can only imagine what Linda and, Sandra Mae are going through if i lost my daughter i would go crazy.. Linda and , Sandra if you read this my heart goes out to you.. I love you all so much.. By the way i turned my life over to god cause i want to see them again in heaven someday and i will then find out what really happened.. Love you all!! RIP little angels
  • by Sherry Location: Illinois on Jan 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM
    Im so very sorry for the lose of these 4 childern MAY GOD BLESS THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEBERS YOU ARE ALL IN MY PRAYERS!R.I.P LITTLE ANGELS
  • by KyMom Location: Salyersville on Dec 29, 2008 at 06:30 PM
    People please let what Amber and Peter said go... This sad tragedy isn't about them and no matter how many scriptures you quote on here it isn't going to change their mind about how they feel about what happened. If they want to question why God would let this happen let them none of us need to judge what they say, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and their own feelings. I however hope that no one would EVER have to go through what this family is going through. My hope is that this family can find peace and comfort and live on after this tragedy.
  • by Crystal on Dec 29, 2008 at 01:35 PM
    Ahh Man, Peter! This was not the time, and the place to start a reliion debate. If you do not believe thats on you. These babies did not deserve to die like they did, but neither did Jesus need to die like he died. However if your looking for confirmation, read your news papers. They find proof everyday that confirms the bible. G-d does not let bad things happen to innocent people, we gave us free will. God bless you Peter, and Amber!
  • by GERRI Location: LEXINGTON on Dec 29, 2008 at 10:27 AM
    TO AMBER:POSTED DEC 28 2008 , WHAT RELIGION ARE YOU ? BECAUSE YOU MAKE NO SENSE AT ALL AND YOU NEED PRAYER. TO PETER:POSTED DEC 26 , 2008 YOU ARE A MAN THAT SOUNDS LIKE A DELUDED AIRHEAD AS YOU CALLED OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT PRAYER. WHO DO YOU THINK WOKE YOU UP THIS MORNING AND STARTED YOU ON YOUR WAY , WITH NO HURT , HARM , OR DANGER ? IT WAS NOT YOURSELF , AND OF NO GOODNESS OF YOURS I'M SURE. FOR IF THE GOOD LORD DIDN'T TAKE A BREATH UP YOUR NOSE U WOULD ALSO BE SLEEPING IN YOUR GRAVE TODAY. SO BLESS THE LORD FOR LIFE. GOD DOSE ALL THINGS WELL , AND HE MAKES NO MISTAKES , HE TAKES YOU FROM 1 PLACE 2 ANOTHER EVERYDAY AND HE WATCHES OVER YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. SO FOR THIS YOU SHOULD BE THANKFUL. WHEN I THINK OF THE GOODNESS OF JESUS AND ALL THAT HE HAS DONE FOR ME MY SOUL CRYS OUT HALLELUJAH I THANK GOD FOR SAVING ME. SO TONIGHT WHEN I SAY MY PRAYERS I WILL SAY A SPECIAL PRAYER FOR YOU AND AMBER. MY PRAYERS GOSE OUT TO THIS FAMILY ON THE LOSS OF YOU LOVED ONES. PEACE AND 1 LOVE
  • by KENTUCKY GIRL Location: KENTUCKY on Dec 29, 2008 at 09:08 AM
    TO PETER AND AMBER , PLEASE READ WITH SOME UNDERSTANDING: PSALMS:101 VERSE 7 AND 8. VERSE 7: NO ONE WHO PRACTICES DECEIT WILL DEWELL IN MY HOUSE ,NO ONE WHO SPEAKS FASELY WILL STAND IN MY PRESENCE. VERSE 8: EVERY MORNING I WILL PUT TO SILENCE ALL THE WICKED IN THE LAND , I WILL CUT OFF EVERY EVILDOER FROM THE CITY OF THE LORD. EXODUS 20:VERSE 4 , 5 AND 6 : YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF AN IDOL IN THE FORM OF ANYTHING IN HEAVEN ABOVE OR ON ON THE EARTH BENEATH OR IN THE WATERS BELOW. YOU SHALL NOT BOW DOWN TO THEM OR WORSHIP THEM , FOR I, THE LORD YOUR GOD AM A JEALOUS GOD , PUNISHING THE CHILDREN FOR THE SIN OF THE FATHER TO THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION OF THOSE WHO HATE ME , BUT SHOWING LOVE TO A THOUSAND GENERATIONS OF THOSE WHO LOVE ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.LET ME GIVE THE BOTH OF YOU VERSE 7: YOU SHALL NOT MISUSE THE NAME OF THE YOUR GOD, FOR THE LORD WILL NOT HOLD ANYONE GUILTLESS WHO MISUSES HIS NAME. SO WHEN I PRAY FOR THIS FAMILY , I WILL PRAY FOR PETER AMD AMBER.
  • by amber Location: lexington on Dec 28, 2008 at 01:40 PM
    hey Im gonna agree with Peter why would a loving God let such horrible things happen to innocent children,doesnt your religion have to make any sense?
  • by Sammi Location: Mt. Sterling on Dec 27, 2008 at 08:18 PM
    I'm so proud of my community. The people of Mt. Sterling have amazing hearts and are so generous to help these families in a time of need. This is exactly how a community should come together. To all those who have given, "thank you!"
  • by Elizabeth Location: Somerset on Dec 27, 2008 at 12:23 PM
    Peter, God doesn't bring tragedies on his children. He is a loving and caring God. Everyone has an appointed time to die and when our time is through we must go. These precious children are FAR better off than we are. We stil have tribulations and trials to face that we've never faced before. I lost my dad a year ago in may from cancer, but the great thing was he was ready to go to heaven. We can grieve their loss but we can rejoice knowing that they are angels in heaven today. And peter if there were no God, how did you get up breathing today?

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