LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (WBKO) - Children's toys scatter the front lawn of a home on VanMeter Lane that was destroyed by fire. The fire late Sunday night claimed the lives of one-year-old Cole Clouse, his father Eddie Clouse and a family friend.
"26 years in law enforcement I don't remember the last time that we had three people who perished in a fire like this. So it is a very sad day. Very tough times," says Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons.
Clemons and his deputies were among the first to arrive just before 11 p.m.
Four people escaped the burning home and were shouting three people remained inside. First responders attempted to gain entry but the home was fully engulfed.
"It's really hard to deal with. Hard to lose someone. Then when you lose a child it even brings a little more pain to the heart so it's a tough time for the community," says Clemons.
The scene remained quiet Monday, other than an investigator from the State Fire Marshals Office. Those who escaped the burning home have already provided important information.
"Actually at this point I did have one person say a smoke detector did wake him up so we do know we have one working smoke detector in the home," says Deputy State Fire Marshal Chris Crawford.
While Crawford says he puts his heart and soul into every investigation, the tragedy Sunday night has him digging a little deeper.
"We are absolutely wanting to find answers in this. The possibilities of us finding the answers sometimes are not there. Fire is a destructive nature by what it does. It destroys the evidence as it goes along. So we are going to try and piece these puzzle pieces together," says Crawford.
Crawford says putting back together the events may prevent another tragic fire in the future.
The four people who did escape the burning home, including the mother of one-year-old Cole Clouse, were taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.