One person died in this house fire on the 200 block of Webb Rd. Monday, 11-19-12
A widowed mother is dead, but her three children who were also inside managed to safely escape a fire at their home on the 200 block of Webb Road around 3 a.m. Monday.
Chief Don Stallions, with the Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Department, said crews found the children inside of a car parked near the home. He said the car was about to catch on fire, but quick-thinking firefighters rescued them in time.
Neighbors said the mother went back into the house to try and save a dog, but crews could not get inside of the home to rescue her.
"With the structure collapsing, it was too dangerous to have firefighters make an offensive attack. The firefighters were unable just do to safety reasons. The flames were just too intense to get in there," said Stallions.
To add to this heartbreaking story, firefighters and neighbors said the children's father died earlier this year from health complications.
"I just thought it was awful, just devastating. I knew that the kids would not have a parent," said Michelle Skinner, who has lived in the neighborhood for six years. "I hope that they can find some of their other family and live with them."
"This is a small community. And we know everybody in it. So this is what makes it difficult," said Stallions. "But we were able to help the kids, and the tragedy could have been a lot worse. Thankfully the children were able to get out."
Officials said the children, ages 5, 8, and 12, are in the care of other family members.
The embers are expected to smolder for a few days.
The Blount Count Sheriff's Department is still investigating the cause.
An autopsy is expected to be completed Tuesday.