Local and state investigators continue their efforts to identify the cause of a Wednesday morning home fire in Jefferson County which claimed the lives of two individuals.
The identities of the victims have not been released pending positive identification from autopsies. This morning, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Coffey said, “We know who they are but we can’t release their identities until we have a positive identification.”
Coffey said emergency personnel were notified of the fire on Scarlett Road, Dandridge at 6:48 a.m. Upon arrival, firefighters and deputies found the single-story frame home fully engulfed in flames after Kenneth Roland, a brother and son of the possible victims called 911.
“A brother was here and said he lives in a mobile home behind the residence. He heard someone yelling and got up and saw it was his brother who was standing in front of the home. He was standing outside the home with flames coming out, and said their mother was still inside the home. The brother then went back into the home, and the brother who lives behind the residence called 911. Neither the mother or the brother came out of the home,” Coffey said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Bomb and Arson Unit has been called into the probe. Coffey says there is no evidence of foul play.
“Anytime you have a fire involving a fatality, our investigators request them to assist us just to determine the cause of the fire. That is just standard operating procedure, and our preliminary investigation leads us to believe this was an accidental fire,” Coffey said.
The home was not equipped with smoke detectors, and the cause of the blaze has not been determined.
The Dandridge Fire Department was assisted by the Jefferson City Fire Department, Lakeview Central Volunteer Fire Department and the Northview-Kodak Volunteer Fire Department from Sevier County.