SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state fire marshal’s office has taken over the investigation of a fatal blaze at a rental cabin in Sevierville.
Katelyn Abernathy, a spokeswoman for the office, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that investigators were still processing the scene.
“It is a very complex investigation because it burned to the ground,” she said.
The blaze broke out early Saturday at a cabin where 22 people from Kentucky and Indiana were staying. Two people died — 5-year-old Tayveon Temple and his step-grandfather, 56-year-old Ricky Hudson, both of Indianapolis.
Hudson died at a hospital after suffering severe lacerations from breaking a window in an attempt to save others.
Abernathy said the remains of the child have yet to be recovered.
Neighbor Mark Urse said on Wednesday that he and his wife awoke to screams the night of the blaze from those trying to escape from a second-story balcony.
“They were on the back deck and they were letting their little ones down and my wife helped,” he said. “Then they began to jump. They were jumping for their lives.”
Urse said the survivors told him the cabin’s smoke detectors went off during the fire.
“I believe the smoke detectors saved them,” he said.