Fatal fire claims life of paraplegic

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

A fire in Johnson County has claimed the life of a paraplegic.

Investigators are searching for the cause of the fire that started in Paintsville early Tuesday morning.

Once officials got the 911 call, they rushed to the house but could not save 59-year-old Mark Girard who was bound to a wheel chair.

"I was upset. He was a really nice man, he never did anything to anybody. He always took care of his dog," said Rebecca Sexton who lives next door.

Sexton woke up to smoke around 3:30 Tuesday morning.

"I looked out my window cause it was lit up, and I saw the flames. So my first reaction was to wake up and get my father up," said Sexton.

Her father tried to kick the door in to try to save Girard who was a paraplegic, but it was locked. Rebecca then called 911.

"When we found out where it was we were automatically concerned that he was still inside the house and he may not be able to get out, and tragically that was the case," said Paintsville Fire Chief Bob Dixon.

Investigators say the fire started in the back bedroom where the victim was also found. It then spread through the house and also damaged some homes nearby.

The heat from the fire was so hot it melted the siding off of this home, which is why Rebecca Sexton is thankful she woke up when she did.

"There is really not much to think but wow. This happened right beside my house, and if it hadn't been for me waking up, it could have possibly gotten like 3-4 more houses," said Sexton.

Girard's dog did make it through the fire, but fire fighter's say he seems lost without his owner.

Chief Dixon says a cause has not been determined for the fire, and it is still under investigation with the help of Kentucky State Fire Marshall's.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WYMT CONTACT INFO 199 Black Gold Blvd. Hazard, KY 41701 606-436-5757 - switchboard 606-439-9968 - newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 136617963