Cabin fire raises questions about code enforcement


SEVIERVILLE. Tenn. (WVLT) -- Investigators say they won't stop searching the scene of a deadly cabin fire until they find the body of a young boy.

At this point, officials don't think it was arson, but they do know the fire started in the front deck of the house Saturday morning at the Cabins at the Crossing.

56-year-old Ricky Hudson and his five-year-old step-grandson Tayveon Temple died.

Temple's remains have still not been found.

"We are down to the process of grid searching this entire cabin. We're not going to stop until we get to the point where there's nothing left to search," says Jay Breeding, Sevier County Fire Investigator.

More than 20 people were staying in the seven bedroom cabin. Local planning officials say there are no occupancy limit laws in Sevier County.

In fact, county building codes for rental cabins were just put into place in 2009 and the cabin, built in 2004, did not have to abide by those new codes.

"There are thousands on rental cabins in this county, as you know, it would be virtually impossible to require all of them to have current codes," says Jeff Ownby, Planning Director in Sevier County.

All rental cabins built in 2009 or after are required to be inspected by fire marshals during construction, and they must also have a sprinkler system, something the cabin did not have.

"It does obviously always makes us reconsider that we are doing everything we can, " says Ownby.

Investigators say the cabin did have smoke detectors.

"We have reports that they did not go off we have confident reports that they did go off," says Breeding.

He says it's something they may never know for sure.

The managers of the cabin say they're not at all concerned with the loss of the cabin, but rather the loss of life and are offering their condolences to the families.

The group was traveling from Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis.

Investigators will not work when it's dark for safety reasons and because they don't want to miss anything.

If the remains are not found before dark Monday, they will continue Tuesday morning.

Several local fire departments are helping in the search, as well as anthropologist from the University of Tennessee.


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