KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Fire Department said a man and child died after a fire broke out on a front porch on Mississippi Avenue around 3:30 a.m. on Monday.
A 3-year-old boy and a 67-year-old grandfather were still inside the home when crews responded, according to KFD.
KFD said crews removed the two from the home. They were both transported to hospitals in serious condition where they later died from their injuries.
"Our prayers and condolences are with the family during this difficult time," KFD said.
It was around 3 a.m. when Gloria Thompson heard a neighbor knocking on her door to tell her the house across the street was on fire. Thompson couldn't believe it.
"I'm just lost for words. Really I'm lost for words. I feel sorry for the mother," Thompson said.
It was only a few hours earlier when Thompson's granddaughter was playing with the 3-year-old boy on the front porch that later caught fire, according to Thompson.
The KFD Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said the child's mother was at work when the fire blazed through the front area of the house—mostly in the living room.
"This is very hard on the folks that were here last night," Wilbanks said. "You know, they have to walk away knowing that a 3-year-old and an adult male have died because of this fire. We love what we do. We love our community. But it's extremely hard for our folks to have to do this."
The fire was completely extinguished by 3:37 a.m. The front portion of the home received heavy fire damage, according to KFD.
KFD said investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. It said foul play is not considered a factor at this time.
The American Red Cross is assisting the additional family member who was not home at the time, according to KFD.
This story is ongoing. We will update you as we learn more.