JONANCY, Ky. (WYMT) - Witnesses tell us they watched in horror and felt 'helpless.' A father and his four young children all died after an house fire in Pike County.
It happened early this morning in the Jonancy community. Investigators say William Wilfong, and his children, ages five, four, two, and six months, all died. Their mother was flown to U.K. Hospital but has been upgraded to serious condition as of Wednesday night.
Only ashes and rubble remain after the Wednesday morning fire. Five people: William Wilfong, and his four small children, 5-year-old Dakota, 4-year-old Tyler, 2-year-old Cheyenne, and 6-month-old Emily, all perished. Only the children's mother, Tammy Tucker, made it out alive.
"I thought I was dreaming because it don't seem real ... it just don't seem real," said Jasmine Tucker, Tammy Tucker's sister. "They're just too young to go."
The cause of the fire is not known, but the coroner says the home had no heat and that everyone was inside the living room on a single mattress, near a space heater, trying to keep warm.
Dakota and Tyler, the two oldest children, were students at G. F. Johnson Elementary School.
"It's a very tragic thing, and I know they are pretty upset into the school and to the community in that area," said Roger Wagner, superintendent for Pike County schools.
Faculty and staff are still coming to terms with the tragic events of Wednesday morning. We are told help will be available for those grieving in the days and weeks to come. Guidance counselors at the school say each child will deal with the loss of their classmates in their own unique way.
"They will remember where the student was at in the classroom," said guidance counselor Kim Weddington. "They had friends, what they would play, so it will be at different times the kids will realize we have lost somebody very important to us."
A school and a community remain devastated by the loss, but people we talked to say everyone will pull together so that healing can take place.
Staff at the school are working on setting up a memorial fund to benefit the family. We will try and pass that information along when it becomes available.