Fire victim tried to alert family

Mar. 25, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

A 73-year-old woman died in a fire at her home Saturday when she was overcome by smoke while trying to alert family members to the fire, unaware that they had already escaped, Sheriff Ron Seals said.

Marjorie C. King, 73, of 736 Lee Circle, was found in the home by firefighters.

Sevier County Fire Investigator Jay Breeden said the fire appeared to have started in the carport of the home, where the family had placed a heat lamp in a box where they had some chicken hatchlings.

The house had smoke detectors, but other members of the family said they didn’t hear the alarms activate and they were alerted to the fire when they smelled smoke and the flames started to spread inside.

Pigeon Forge Police officers tried to reach King when they realized someone was inside, but were forced back out of the house by heavy smoke and fire, Seals said.

The sheriff encouraged everyone to check the batteries in their smoke detectors and make sure the alarms work, and to have an evocation plan for their home in the event of a fire.

Pigeon Forge’s fire investigator and a state investigator also helped in the investigation, which is normal in fires that result in deaths.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com