The fire gutted three brick buildings built in 1840. Chris Hargis and Lori Doppelheuer escaped a fire consuming their old row house. But both rushed back to save their five children inside the gutted house.
Father was able to rescue two daughters, aged 15 and 7. But, mother Doppelheuer could not come out alive. She found their three other children: 10-year-old Christopher Kearney, 3-year-old Eagan Hargis and 20-month-old Kieran Hargis and unable to save them.
Authorities have ruled out arson. The home where the children died did not have any working smoke detectors, Maysville Fire Chief Kevin Doyle said. The constructions are essentially a large pile of kindling.
Hargis, also in his 30s, ran in and out of the burning building several times, Doyle said.
Hargis’ mother, Beverly Hargis, said he was able to rescue the two girls by proper handling by throwing a blanket over them, scooped them up and took them out.
Firefighters could not get inside the burning buildings as the stairwell was weakening.
Intense fire forced the crew back outside, Doyle said.
There was no survivable space in the rear of that portion, which is where the victims ended up being.
The fire was so intense that about 40 firefighters worked to put out the blaze, which displaced about 30 people. No firefighters were injured.
Notably, Doppelheuer had served in the Marines for four or five years.
Source: The Big Story