Family remembers children killed in 2008 fire in Montgomery County

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MT. STERLING, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been eight years since a tragic, Montgomery County fire. Four children, including three of them under the age of 10, were killed.

Three brothers, three-year-old Brandon, five-year-old Wayne, and seven-year-old Timmy Elam, died in the fire on Christmas Eve in 2008. Their cousin, Shirley Rothwell, 17, also died.

In 2008, the mother of the boys, Sandra Rothwell, says she got a knock on the door saying there were flames across the street at her sister's, Linda's, house where the boys had spent the night. Neighbors tried pulling the four out of the burning home but it was too late.

Now, year-after-year, the day before Christmas is a reminder of four lives gone too soon.

"I come here every year to decorate the tree and put ornaments on it. Me and my little boy come here and we kind of just keep the spirit going," Jimmy Rothwell told WKYT. "I made a promise to these kids when they passed away that I would keep their spirit alive and I'm going to keep this tree lit up for these kids and I told them until I die it's going to be lit up."

The mothers of the victims say they plan to keep holding a vigil every year as long as they can.