Electricity blamed for fire that orphaned 3

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The fire that orphaned three children when it killed their mother, was likely caused by electrical issues.

Blount County officials said 40 year-old Kristina G. Kallstrom was killed when a fire started in a back bedroom. Investigators said foul play was not a factor.

Kallstrom's three children made it out of the Townsend home unharmed. As of Wednesday, the children were with their maternal Aunt and Uncle.

Jaena Headrick, a family friend, said the kids, ages 12, 8 and 5, took cover in an SUV outside their home before fire fighters pulled them to safety.

She said their dad died from a heart attack in August, and now they've lost their mom.

"To have this, it's just tragic. And my heart just breaks for them - words can't even express it," said Headrick.

Headrick said Kallstrom was active in church, often singing and playing the flute, and was going to be in the Christmas cantata.

"Her desire was to be a music teacher and she was just finishing up at Pellissippi State and the head of the music department there told me she had just been accepted at Maryville College," she said.

Headrick said the Kallstroms had three dogs and two cats - one dog was saved after the fire, and Wednesday afternoon, one of their cats was found, too.

"They needed something happy, they sure did," said Headrick.

A Kallstrom benefit fund was set up at US Bank for the children.


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