JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The county coroner’s office confirmed Sunday morning that one person was killed in a Jessamine County home fire.
The Jessamine County Coroner said 48-year-old Ronnie Hall died of smoke inhalation and burns.
The fire was reported just before 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Fire crews say three people inside were able to escape unharmed, but the fire that started in Ronnie Hall’s bedroom on the second floor left him trapped inside.
Speaking off camera, Hall’s aunt kept replaying those final cries for help she heard from her nephew’s bedroom.
“It appears he was trying to get out of the room. He was basically found near the doorway of the room,” said Michael Hughes, the Jessamine County Coroner.
Hall relied on oxygen tanks for health reasons, and the coroner says he might’ve been on some kind of sedative at the time.
“If he did have sedating drugs in his system, that would probably make him slow to respond,” said Hughes.
By all indications, his family members were quick to respond. We’re told they ran to the bedroom in an attempt to help, but the smoke and the heat were too overwhelming.
“Even with our gear on, we could still feel the heat. So there’s no way someone without equipment on, no way they could’ve done anything,” said Major Mike Cassidy with the Jessamine County Fire Department.
Investigators haven’t commented on the cause of the fire, but Hall’s family says he was a smoker. As the coroner noted, smoking increases the chances of a fire starting around an oxygen tank.