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Two Killed In Early Morning Breathitt County Fire

By: Jon Sonnheim Email
By: Jon Sonnheim Email

Two men die in an early morning trailer fire and officials say it could have been worse. The fire happened around three Thursday morning in the Canoe area of Breathitt County.

Four friends were getting ready for bed in a trailer owned by Dexter Howard when Howard says a fire started in a back bedroom, a fire he couldn't put out.

"I tried hollering for everybody to get out and I tried to put it out, and it kept pushing me back, the fire did, and when I hit the kitchen door, it pushed me out," Howard said.

An average early morning that quickly turned deadly. It left two men, 48 year old Kenny Stamper of Dry Ridge and 56 year old Alfred "Junior" Combs of Jackson, dead, two others shaken, and another man, Donald Lee Turner, now being called a hero.

"Getting ready to go to bed and we always check on my neighbor because he's old and try to take care of him. He told me he couldn't get them out, they was burning. I heard the girl screaming," Turner said.

With three people still inside the burning trailer, Turner made his way in.

"I kicked the door, made my way in two feet, I saw her and grabbed her. Just grabbed her," Turner said.

"Very brave individual, who takes chances, very dangerous chances, but in this instance it did pay off," said Stephen Bowling with the Jackson City Fire Department.

"I'm thankful for him helping me out," said Debbie Bach.

Turner says he tried several times to go back into the house for the others, but flames came out the front door.

"I was terrified, but I just pushed myself. I'd do it for anyone else," Turner said.

Turner and several fire fighters were unable to get inside the house and save those two men. Police are investigating what started the fire, but say no foul play is suspected.


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