(WBIR, Knoxville) - A Knoxville teenager passed away Saturday after a fire in the Northwest Knoxville mobile home where he lived.
Authorities said 19-year-old Mark Jernigan died from smoke inhalation after the Saturday morning fire on J.R. Drive.
The Knoxville Fire Department told WBIR 10News the fire does appear to be accidental.
Sonya Chauncey said her 11-year-old son Sean was best friends with Mark.
"Mark was a very caring. I mean he's 19, my son's 11. You don't see that much when a 19-year-old takes time to spend with an 11-year-old," said Chauncey.
Sonya said they were driving to the Karns Christmas parade Saturday morning when she saw fire investigators at Mark's house.
"Our son's really having a hard time, but he has those memories," said Chauncey.
Sonya Chauncey says her son and Mark would play basketball together and fish.
She says Mark was very protective of Sean.
"The most caring person, protector. He was a big protector of our son. He would always tell me, 'I walk Sean home because I didn't want anyone to mess with him,'" said Chauncey.
Sonya says her family will miss Mark, but her son will always have the memories of the time they spent together.
She says Mark had special needs, but he was very active.
Fire officials said the family's dog also died in the fire.