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‘She was a great treasure’: Pike County woman dies in house fire

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 1:15 PM EST
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PHELPS, Ky. (WYMT) - An overnight fire in the Phelps community brought first responders to a home engulfed in flames just after midnight Wednesday.

After fire departments arrived, the battle became more heartbreaking than just the loss of a home. Teresa Fields, 65, was asleep inside.

“I got a call,” said neighbor Jacky Darrell Smith. “They couldn’t get the lady out- couldn’t get the door open. So I jumped up, went out the door, and got me a sledge hammer and put in my truck to come down, and was gonna knock the door down to get her out. But the flames was really high.”

Once firefighters and investigators gained access to the home, where they found Fields dead inside.

“It was really tough to realize that you couldn’t help somebody. And somebody was in there with that huge flame,” said Smith.

Fields, who has lived in the community for decades, is remembered as a giving and happy woman, keeping others ahead of herself even as her health declined and kept her in the home, alone, most of the time.

“If anybody’d come by, she’d try to be an aid to them and help them,” said Smith. “For those that was around her, she was a great treasure to them. And it will be a great loss to our community.”

Kentucky State Police is investigating the fire, but investigators say they do not believe foul play was involved. Troopers say it is the kind of call no one ever wants to see.

“Anytime you’re responding to a call like this, it’s a very emotional time for the community. We understand. It’s also an emotional time for investigators and fire departments that responded there,” said Post 9 Public Affairs Officer, Trooper Michael Coleman. “These types of calls tend to stick with you for a long time.”

While the exact cause of the fire is still undetermined, Coleman said this is a grim reminder to keep watch over your heating sources this winter.

“As the weather does get colder, if you’re using some kind of outside heating source, such as kerosene heater or electric heaters, make sure those are clear of blankets or any other thing that may cause a fire hazard,” Coleman said.

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