Sunday, February 11, 2001

Mobile-home fire in Thelma kills 2 guests

The Associated Press

        THELMA, Ky. — Two people were killed when a mobile home in which they were guests caught fire, but the family who lived there escaped.

        Joey Grim, 24, and Sandy Castle, 23, died in the blaze Friday. Ms. Castle's body was found in a bathroom. Mr. Grim's body was found near a back door after the blaze was put out.

        “It probably was so smoky, he was disoriented and didn't know how to get to it,” said Sam Butcher, 46, a neighbor who also is a member of the Thelma Volunteer Fire Department.

        Dennis E. Perkins, 27, his wife, Dixie M. Perkins, 20, and their 5-month-old son, Jordan, were taken to Paul B. Hall Medical Center in Paintsville for treatment, Kentucky State Police said. Hospital officials would not comment on their conditions.

        Dennis Perkins suffered a severe cut on his leg as he climbed out a rear bedroom window. Bloody footprints marked the dirt path Mr. Perkins took to a relative's home, 200 feet away, to call for help.

        “As you can see, there's blood all over the place,” said his brother-in-law, Ronnie Sammons, 33. “You could probably hear Dennis yelling to the mouth of the hollow. He was scared to death.”

        Mr. Grim was a friend of Mr. Perkins', and Ms. Castle baby-sat for the couple.

        State police said the cause of the fire, which was reported at 5:30 a.m., had not been determined. But neighbors pointed to a scorched kerosene heater placed on an I-beam in the burnt-out hull of the mobile home.


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