PRESTONSBURG — Police investigators are still not ruling out homicide, after one person was pronounced dead following a trailer fire at Hyden Trailer Court off Route 321 near Prestonsburg.
Prestonsburg Fire Department responded to the fire at 87 Hyden Trailer Ct. after it was reported around 11:20 p.m. Tuesday evening.
When Times Staff spoke to Fire Chief Bobby Carpenter at the scene of the incident Wednesday morning, he said that the fire appeared to have started at the front of the trailer, near the door.
“It had a major starter. I mean the home was destroyed, as well as the two vehicles,” said Carpenter, adding that the fire took about 30 minutes to get “totally under control.”
Carpenter said the victim of the fire was a female, but would not release her name.
According to Carpenter, two firefighters were injured during the blaze. The injuries were not severe, and both were treated and released from Highlands Regional Medical Center.
The Times has learned that the residence at 87 Hyden Trailer Court is the home of 62-year-old Inis Crace and 73-year-old Jackie Eugene Hall. Kentucky State Police troopers would neither confirm nor deny the identities of the residents.
“We know there were two people occupying the residence, and we are unable to locate the other one,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Jason Dials.
Dials confirmed that one body was pulled from the ruins of the home, and that body has been sent to Frankfort for identification and autopsy. Dials says that preliminary results could be released later this week.
Investigators at the scene would not rule out the possibility that the fire was a either a homicide or an attempt to conceal a homicide. When asked if the fire was being investigated as a criminal case, Dials said, “at this time, we will treat it as if it is.”
“I’m not saying that it is,” said Dials, “but it’s what we have to do to retrieve the evidence the way we need to.”
As the investigation continued Wednesday morning, Kentucky State Police investigators could be seen removing what appeared to be a rifle from the home. Neighbors reported hearing two loud bangs Tuesday evening before the fire began.
On Thursday, KSP Trooper Shaun Little said all of the persons connected to the trailer have been found.
“Nobody is missing, nobody is looking for anyone,” Little said, when asked if Jackie Eugene Hall had been found. Little says that once he hears from the KSP arson investigators and medical examiner’s office, he will be able to provide more information about the nature of the fire and whether it will continue to be investigated as a criminal offense.
When asked about Hall’s whereabouts following the fire, or if he was in custody or being held for any questioning, Little said he didn’t have any information regarding Hall’s whereabouts after the fire, but that he was not currently being held.
According to court documents, Inis Crace brought charges of domestic violence against Jackie Eugene Hall in April 2010, where she said in a court statement that, “Jackie Hall hit me several times in the jaw, bruising my jaw’s, and factiny (sic) my thumb.”
The nature of the fire is being investigated by the Kentucky State Fire Marshal and Kentucky State Police arson investigators.
The investigation is ongoing.