UPDATE: Three die in two separate fires early Saturday

HAMBLEN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Two separate fires took the lives of three people in Hamblen County early Saturday.

Now, a community is mourning while investigators are still trying to figure out what could have started these fires.

Local 8 News talked to a neighbor near one of the fires who said he did everything to try and save his friends inside.

"Shane came out and came to my house and started knocking on the door yelling for help, you know, and I asked him, you know, what's going on and he said, my house is on fire."

Chad Milsap immediately ran out the door to help.

"I busted out a window and tried to do what I could to get inside," he says, "I tried to go through the basement but it had already been taken over by smoke and some of the flames and I just couldn't get in."

Willie Jarnigan, 74, and his grandson Isaiah, 4, didn't make it out.

"It's just a helpless feeling to have when you're outside and I couldn't get in there to him," says Milsap.

Isaiah's father was able to escape the blaze unharmed.

"That little boy (Isaiah) loved his granddaddy, and they were always together, and you know Willie always said that if anything happened to the boy it would just kill him as well, and for whatever reason God took them both together," Milsap.

The Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin says the fire is suspicious so the state fire marshals have been investigating.

Meanwhile about 20 minutes away, Rose Green, 61 succumbed to smoke inhalation after her home on Cedar Creek Road caught fire.

The sheriff says Green was in a wheelchair and used an oxygen tank, the fire has been ruled accidental.

He does not believe the two fires are related.

The deaths of these three people have left a community in disbelief.

"Just everybody pray for the family,"


Two overnight fires take the lives of three people in Hamblen County Saturday.

Hamblen County Sheriff, Sheriff Esco R. Jarnagin, tells Local 8 News the two fires were not related.

The first blaze happened on Spencer Hale Road in Morristown at about midnight.

A 74-year-old man and his 4-year-old grandson died in the fire. Another man, the 4-year-old's father, was able to escape.

Another fire happened a few hours later on Cedar Creek Road at about 2 a.m..

Sheriff Jarnagin says a physically impaired woman living there died in the blaze.

The State Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate, Sheriff Jarnagin believes no foul play was involved.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 229381951 - local8now.com/a?a=229381951