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Names released in deadly Letcher County house fire

Officials tell WYMT two people are dead after a house fire at Payne Gap in Letcher County.
Officials tell WYMT two people are dead after a house fire at Payne Gap in Letcher County.(Dakota Makres)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 8:00 AM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Two people are dead following a house fire in Letcher County.

It happened around 5:00 a.m. Friday at a home in the Payne Gap area.

“First in units found there were two people unaccounted for,” said Captain of Jenkins City Fire Department James Stephens. “We did an initial attack, a primary search, the primary search was negative at the time.”

As fire crews worked to put out the fire, they found one person dead but continued to look for the second one.

“About 8:42 a.m. we did find the second person also deceased, pending notification we are not going to do any IDs, or anything right now,” he said.

Crews said the fire was so hot, it burned and destroyed two cars in the driveway.

“It also depends on the way the wind was blowing, how close the cars are,” said Stephens.

The roof of the house also partially collapsed.

“Which makes it difficult to get the fire that is deeply rooted,” he said. “There is a basement in this structure as well, some flooring has collapsed.”

As an investigation is underway. Officials said the fire could smolder for days.

“There’s no way for us to actually put it all out without bulldozing everything in,” he said. “At least a few more hours of active fire operations here.”

On Saturday, Stephens confirmed with WYMT the people killed in the fire are 71-year-old Patsy Bevins and her son 42-year-old George Eddie Bevins Jr.

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