WKYT - Harrodsburg - Headlines

Woman killed in house fire

By: Angela Beavin Email
By: Angela Beavin Email

A woman, dedicated to sharing the history of a Kentucky state park, was killed in a house fire early Monday morning.

Family members say 71-year-old Mary Rose Harley lived alone at her Harrodsburg home. A neighbor called 911 after seeing the fire just before 4 a.m.

"We came up here, watched the firemen. They finally got her out of the house, but she was deceased," says Mary Rose Harley's nephew, Brent Steele.

Now investigators are trying to figure out just what ignited the flames.

"We're looking to determine a cause and an origin. There's really nothing suspicious, but with it being a fatality, we're going to look at all possible avenues before we make a decision," said Harrodsburg Fire Chief, Christopher Dean.

Harley's nephew says he talked to his aunt frequently--even just hours before she died in the fire--making it hard to believe.

"It all happened so quick. I just talked to her last night. She was fine then... seems like a dream really," Steele says.

He says his aunt wasn't married and did not have children, but her dedication was within the community.

"She loved history, and she's worked for 40 years or more at the Old Fort Harrod museum," Steele says.

Harley had been an employee with the state park since March of 1968. She was in her 43rd year. The manager there says her knowledge is irreplaceable.

Harrodsburg firefighters say this is the first fire in the last five years there that's resulted in a death.

Investigators are also waiting for autopsy results. They say that report could help determine how the fire started.

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