Trailer fire left two people dead

Two people are dead after an early morning house fire in Leslie County.

It is the second fatal fire in Eastern Kentucky in three days.

Two fire departments were called to the scene at three a.m., but the two trailers were already fully-engulfed.

Now only burned rubble is left behind for officials to sift through while investigating what caused this fire.

"It was pretty loud like a big boom I guess you could say," said Steven Hoskins, a neighbor and friend of the victims.

Following that noise, neighbors say flames several feet in the air were coming from the two trailers that are now burned to the ground.

Neighbors say Ernest Wayne Smallwood and Lisa Gray died as a result.

"They got one individual out, and we started to put the fire out and found another body inside the building," said Elmer Sparks, Jr., the fire chief at Big Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Smallwood was the one pulled out by his son and brother.

"I saw the fire. And I saw them after they had got him out on the ground and then the deputy started doing CPR on him until the ambulance service got here," said Hoskins.

Since the fire started, neighbors have been replaying what happened in their heads.

"I screamed and hollered for help for a long time and couldn't get nobody and then I ran to Tony Estepp's home and told him to come help get him out," said Bonnie Lewis, a neighbor.

But now there is nothing anybody can do to help or change what happened.

"When my neighbors get in trouble, I feel like I'm in trouble too, so I hurt when they hurt," said Homer Couch, a neighbor and friend of the victims.

Only burned rubble, smoke, and heartache remain where two people once lived.

"He's going to be missed, he was loved by a lot of people," said Mary Ann Belkey, Smallwood's ex-wife.

What sparked this fire is a mystery as officials continue trying to put the burned pieces together.

Smallwood was pronounced dead at the Mary Breckenridge Hospital in Hyden.

Gray was pronounced dead at the scene.


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