Teen, her 3 young cousins killed in house fire

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 1:55 PM

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (AP) -- Three young brothers and their teenage cousin died Wednesday in a duplex fire in eastern Kentucky, authorities said.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Ralph Lockard identified those killed as Timmy Elam, 7; Wayne Elam, 5; Brandon Elam, 3; and their cousin, Shirley Rothwell, 17.

The bodies were found inside the apartment in a newer residential area. Montgomery County Coroner Wally Johnson said preliminarily the four appear to have died from smoke inhalation. Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday at the State Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort.

"The three boys lived in a residence across the street," Lockard said. "We believe they were there at that residence because they were having heating problems."

Lockard said the boys' mother, Sandra Elam, had left the apartment about 9 a.m. to go to a physical therapy appointment. When she returned about two hours later, the apartment was burning, Lockard said. The fire call came in at 11:20 a.m. and firefighters responded a minute later because their station was across the street.

"They was staying at my sister's house," Sandra Elam told WKYT-TV in Lexington. "Someone came over and said the house was on fire. A neighbor came over here and they busted the windows and started CPR on them."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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