Fire

Oct 11, 2012 11:21 PM

Family of Garrard County Fire Victim Believes Fire Could Have Been Prevented

The family of the victim of a suspicious house fire in Garrard County says they believe Damien Heath Mullins set fire to the house himself, as a cry for help.

Mullins is listed in critical condition at UK Hospital Thursday night. His sister, Venetta Mullins, says the 37-year-old Army veteran was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and never got the continuous help he needed.

From the outside, the house on Cleo Drive still looks like a dream house. But inside, the burned piano and a hole burnt in the floor, tell a different story. A story, investigators say, that points to arson.

Damien Mullins' wife and sister say the loving father and husband, a veteran who served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, had PTSD and other mental health issues.

"He has a lot of anger and sadness inside of him from serving, and can't seem to let it go. I just pray that people can see this, and you know it's time to really pull together," says Venetta Mullins, Damien Mullins' sister.

She believes the fire could have been prevented. She says her brother made a suicidal post on facebook two weeks ago. Terrifed, she says she took him to Eastern State Hospital for help, and they didn't stay long.

"When they came and got him, they only kept him for ten minutes...they should be evaluated and kept for seventy-two hours," says Mullins.

Late Wednesday night, Damien Mullins laid out his army uniform in his bedroom. The house caught fire. Fire officials say Mullins crawled out of the bedroom window onto the roof at the last minute, rescued by firefighters, and rushed to the hospital for smoke inhalation. His sister believes all this should have never happened.

"I'm here for him no matter what. That's all I can tell him-- hold my hand out and say it's here for you, whenever you need it," says Venetta Mullins.

The KPS arson investigator says the fire is still under investigation. LEX18 reached out to Eastern State Hospital for comment, but they did not get back to us Thursday.

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