Three fires in one day in Perry Co. end with no injuries, deaths

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Two families, each with three children, lost everything when their homes went up in flames.

“He was screaming Steveanna your house is on fire! Your house is on fire!” said Steveanna Whitis. She said she was sitting on the couch at her future mother-in-law’s house when her neighbor came over and told her what was happening around midnight Nov. 30.

Dosha Campbell recalled a similar instance when she was hanging lights on her Christmas tree with family members.

“The flames flashed through my kitchen window and Rosalena and her friend looked outside and the trailer was burning down,” said Campbell.

Both of the homes did have something in common, neither one of them had electricity when they caught fire.

“It didn't have no electric in it or nobody around so somebody had to set that trailer on fire,” said Campbell.

Whitis said the electricity was cut off on Nov. 28 because the company was told that she and her fiancé and kids had abandoned the house. She believes her landlord had someone intentionally set fire to the place to gain insurance money.

“An insurance man came by my house recently and we asked why he was there and he said because they was buying a new insurance policy,” said Whitis.

Assistant Chief Brad Smith of Hazard Fire Department said that when houses do not have electricity, it is protocol to investigate further.

“When there is not an alternate heating source, that suspects Arson,” said Smith.
“It always throws up a red flag.”

Smith responded to the fire in Combs, but another Hazard firefighter who also works for Avawam Volunteer Fire Department responded to the Busy fire.

Smith could not confirm for sure whether or not there was an open investigation on the Busy fire at 92 Stollins Mountain Drive, but he said Kentucky State Police are investigating the fire at 398 Southwood Drive as a possible arson.

Whitis said she and her kids lost valuables and pictures that they will never be able to get back.

“My father died when I was 15 and the only pictures I had of him in a scrapbook were in that house and now they are gone,” said Whitis.

“This was a arson, it's pure ridiculous this is what me and my kids and my fiancé have left of our home, we have nothing!”

Campbell said that her daughter, Rosalena Baker who owned the home in Busy will now have to live with her.
“There will be eight of us living in my home,” said Campbell.
“I am scared they are going to come burn my house down, and we don’t have no insurance.”

Campbell said she believes the incident is related to someone angry at one of her relatives.

“It breaks my heart, I wouldn't want nobody to treat nobody like this,” said Campbell.
“But the Lord takes care of everybody.”

While no one was inside of the homes that resulted in total losses, Whitis said a member of the family was taken.
Her 5 pound Chihuahua Bruiser was in the bathroom.

“They burnt my dog up and they killed my dog, he was our pride and joy and everything to my kids and I haven't even had the heart to tell my kids,” said Whitis.
“I told them he ran away and we haven’t been able to find him.”

Her future in sister-in-law sat next to her crying next to the smoldering ashes that Whitis once lived in.

“They think he is lost,” said Wendy Sizemore.

Sizemore said she believes the incident was intentional as well.

The third fire within the 24 hour period was in Vicco, Kentucky on Montgomery Creek Road at around 2:30 in the afternoon.


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