An engaged couple and five children killed in a weekend house fire in southern Kentucky died from smoke inhalation, investigators said Tuesday as they worked to determine the cause of the blaze.
Trooper Shane Jacobs said those who died Saturday in the blaze in the Knox County community of Gray were 27-year-old Jesse Disney; his fiancée, 22-year-old Nina Asher; her three children, 3-year-old William Gray Jr., 2-year-old Camden Gray and 8-month-old Abigail Gray; and two family friends, 2-year-old Paiten Cox and 2-year-old Brielle Cox.
Paiten Cox would have been 3-years-old on March 23. The Cox children were friends of the family who were spending the night.
Investigators were trying to pinpoint the cause of the fire and have said it could take some time before the cause is determined. Jacobs said autopsies were done Monday.
The blaze shook the rural community of Gray is a few miles outside Corbin, a city of about 7,000 in the foothills of Appalachia near the Daniel Boone National Forest and the borders of Tennessee and Virginia. At the J&G convenience store, just up the road from the home, a large empty bubble-gum bucket bore a sign seeking donations to help offset the funeral costs. And Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home in Corbin planned to donate services to the family of the children who were visiting.
Knox County Magistrate Giulio Cima, who represents the Gray area, said the two visiting children were bathed and fed a hot meal that night and slept over.
"There's a lot of things that happen in this world that you can't answer for," Cima said. "This is going to be bad for that family for a long time."