UPDATE: Woman died in Williamsburg house fire

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - A Whitley County woman died early Friday morning in a house fire.

Williamsburg Fire Chief James Privett says the fire started before three o'clock in the morning at the home on Old Corbin Pike.

Family members say Pam Buhl Chinn died and her husband Ronnie Chinn survived.

Family members call it a sad situation. They say Pam risked her life to get her husband out of the flames, and then she did not make it out.

Only charred rubble is left of home Ronnie and Pam Chinn shared.

"You saw one, you saw the other. They were hardly apart long," said Conley Manning, brother-in-law to the Chinns.

Manning says the couple tried to save each other in the fire. He said Ronnie is hard of hearing so Pam woke him up.

"Told him to get out of the house. It was on fire, so he went out, finally got to the front door, had trouble getting the lock open, it was full of smoke and flames, and when he got on the porch, he realized she wasn't behind him. He thought she was right behind him," said Manning.

Neighbors say Ronnie Chinn tried to go back inside and get her but the fire was too intense.

Firefighters arrived quickly but also could not get through the flames.

"I could feel the heat from inside my living room window. I could feel the heat from the fire. It was a big fire," said Geneva Pruitt who lives behind the Chinns.

Firefighters found Pam's body in her bathroom and say she likely died of smoke inhalation.

Now family and friends are remembering her life.

"Had grandchildren and built her life around that, those children, grandchildren. She loved to cook, keep house, everyone in town loved her," said Manning.

The fire chief says the exact cause of the fire is not determined but it is not suspicious. The state fire marshal and a KSP investigator are determining the cause.

Noon update

A deadly house fire claimed the life of a Whitley County woman early Friday morning. Officials tell WKYT two firefighters were also injured while putting out the fire.

Fire crews in Williamsburg got the call around 2am to Old Corbin Pike, near Rice Road. Officials say they were able to get to the home within minutes of the call, but by the time they got there flames were already visible from the home.

Fire officials believe the fire started somewhere towards the back of the home.

Family members tell us the homeowners, Pamela and Ronnie Chinn, were asleep when the fire broke out. They say Pamela woke up first and noticed the fire and woke Ronnie to go check it out.

Family members say Ronnie was forced to get out of the home because the fire was already spreading.

Fire officials say they tried to get to Pamela, who was still inside the home when they arrived, but by the time they were able to locate her she had already died.

Officials say the roof of the home collapsed on top of one of the firefighters on scene, but he did not need to be treated. Another firefighter was transported to the hospital to be checked out for a minor injury.

Officials say the husband was also treated on the scene for smoke inhalation.

An arson investigator is on scene but officials tell us at this time the fire is not considered suspicious.
The Williamsburg Fire Chief tells WYMT's Angela Sparkman the fire started about three Friday morning. We're told when firefighters got to the scene, they found a man laying in the yard at the home who told them his wife was still inside.

Firefighters tell us they tried to rescue the woman, but it was too late.

We're told the man is expected to be ok.
We are learning more about the deadly overnight fire in Williamsburg.

We are told the person who was killed was a woman.

A second person was pulled from the home, but we do not know that person's condition.

No names have been released.
We are following breaking news this morning out of Whitley County.

The coroner tells Mountain News he is on the scene of a deadly house fire.

It happened overnight on Old Corbin Pike in Williamsburg.

Not many details are being released right now, but we are told at least one person is dead.

We have a crew on the way and will bring you more information as we get it.

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