Uncle says he tried to save 7 from Ky. house fire

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 11, 2013 at 6:41 am •  Published: March 11, 2013
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GRAY, Ky. (AP) — Authorities planned Monday to release more information about a weekend house fire in the Appalachian foothills of Kentucky that killed a man, his pregnant fiancee and five children — two of whom were friends who were spending the night.

The Knox County coroner and state police have not yet identified the victims, but family members said the five children killed ranged in age from 10 months to 3 years.

Shannon Disney, a sister-in-law of one of the victims, said a relative who drove past the house at 7:45 a.m. Saturday noticed nothing unusual, but another who lives nearby saw smoke coming from it around 9 a.m.

Disney described the couple as devoted to the children, with their lives organized around bedtime and bath time. She said the woman had just gotten an ultrasound, and the couple was excited to plan for the birth, though they didn't know yet whether it was a boy or girl.

Relatives raced to the house — owned by the Disney family in an area affectionately known as "Disneyland" because so many members of the family lived in that part of town. Despite their rescue efforts, all seven people inside died.

Gino Cima, the uncle of the man who died, said he arrived within minutes of hearing of the Saturday morning blaze and tried to rescue the family when he came upon the adults' bodies.

"When I opened the screen door, she was laying at the door with her head to the door. And I pulled her out," he said, speaking softly. "And about 2 feet from her laying the other way was (my nephew). And I went in and got him and pulled him out. But they was done gone. There wasn't nothing I could do."

He said he then ran to the front of the house to try to save the children.

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