Early morning fire claims one life
by Eric Snyder -- esnyder@cadizrecord.com
Jan 25, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Authorities said the fire began in Katherine Jessup's living room, where a kerosene heater was left too close to furniture.
Authorities said the fire began in Katherine Jessup's living room, where a kerosene heater was left too close to furniture.
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A kerosene heater left too close to living room furniture started a duplex fire the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 18, killing one tenant inside.

Katherine Jessup, 46, of 11 Humphries Dr., was found unresponsive by city firefighters Wednesday morning in her bedroom.

Jessup was pronounced dead at Trigg County Hospital at 7:42 a.m. An autopsy conducted by the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Madisonville has indicated Jessup died of smoke inhalation.

Cadiz Fire Chief Kerry Fowler said there was not a smoke detector in the residence, but added it was assuming too much to say one would have saved Jessup’s life.

In Keith Watts, Jessup’s neighbor who lived in the duplex’s other half, Jessup did have someone attempting to rouse her out of the residence.

Watts, who was up preparing breakfast at the time, said he first caught a whiff of something similar to burning electrical wires around 6:50 a.m. The smell increased, and when Watts exited his apartment around 7:10 a.m., smoke was coming out the front of Jessup’s half.

Watts first ran in his apartment to tell his sister to get out, then banged on Jessup’s front door.

Watts said he could hear Jessup’s two dogs barking, but got no response from her. Watts, whose apartment doesn’t have a phone, ran behind the apartment to Jessup’s bedroom window, yelling for her to get out of the house before running to his neighbor Paul Fourshee’s Main Street home to call 911. Meanwhile, Watts’ sister was banging an inner wall in an attempt to rouse Jessup.

Kim Wiggins, Emergency 911 Coordinator, said the first call came at 7:16 a.m., advising that the duplex was believed to be on fire. About twenty-six minutes had passed since Watts first smelled something amiss.

For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.
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