LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Three people were found dead inside a burning home Wednesday, Lexington firefighters said.
WLEX-TV reported the fire broke out before dawn in the Clays Mill area of the city.
Sheila David and Jim Land of Lexington identified the three as their parents — 89-year-old Lenville Lindon and 78-year-old Norma Jean Lindon — and their brother, 54-year-old Kenneth Lindon, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn confirmed the identities.
Lexington Division of Fire Battalion Chief Ed Davis said smoking materials tossed into a trash can caused the fire.
The cause of death for the three was still under investigation pending toxicology results, Deputy Coroner Al Beatty said.
The couple both used oxygen, and Kenneth Lindon was in a wheelchair as a result of a wreck a few years ago, Sheila David said. She said her parents' 59th wedding anniversary would have been Thursday.
Davis, the battalion chief, said all three residents "had some physical limitations, and we believe that hindered them getting out. We did find evidence that all three made an attempt to get out. ... They appeared to have gotten out of beds and appeared to have tried to make their way out of the building or down the hallway.
"But by the time they tried to get out, the fire was pretty far advanced," he said.
Investigators couldn't find a smoke detector in the house, he said.
Firefighters and state investigators decided the fire was caused by "improper disposal of smoking materials," Davis said.
Someone put smoking materials into a plastic wastepaper basket in the front room of the house, which was being used as a bedroom, he said.
"It caught that front room on fire, and it spread pretty quickly throughout the house," he said.
The Lexington fire department will provide and install a smoke detector to anyone who wants one, Davis said.
Wayne Rickert, who lives next door, said he would see the Lindons occasionally.
"Most of the time they were inside," Rickert said. "They were nice, quiet neighbors. They had a lot of extended family that would come over and visit with them — go to the grocery for them, take them to their doctors' visits and so forth."
Rickert said he saw the flashing emergency lights after he awoke and went to his side door, where he saw smoke "pouring out" of his neighbor's home.
"I knew that none of them were really capable of scampering out of the place," Rickert said. "It's a loss. It's a loss. It's tough."