Harrison County fire kills four, including two children

Two children among victims; relatives think kerosene heater caused blaze

lblackford@herald-leader.comDecember 6, 2010 

An intense, early morning fire in the town of Berry killed four people, including two children, on Sunday, Cynthiana fire officials said.

The fire was so powerful, officials said, that it destroyed two houses and damaged a third on North First Street. The two adults and two children who died were in the home where the fire started.

Berry Fire Chief Orla Whitaker said firefighters were called out about 3 a.m. by a neighbor whose dogs were barking.

When the neighbor went outside, Whitaker said, he saw the residence at 213 North First Street was consumed by flames.

Mary Solez, a relative of the family, said the house's owner was Charlie Tucker, 31, who was killed. Also killed was his cousin, Nikki Pike, 27, and her two sons, Cameron, 5, and Nicholas, 3.

Solez said Pike's brother, Harold Joseph Pike, is a volunteer firefighter who responded to the blaze.

Relatives think the fire was caused by a kerosene heater, but it is under investigation by Kentucky State Police and the state fire marshal's office.

Whitaker said houses on either side also caught fire. One was gutted; the other suffered minor damage.

Whitaker said it was the first fatal fire he could remember in Berry, a town of 600 northwest of Cynthiana.

This is the second fatal fire in Central Kentucky in the past three days.

On Friday, two children, ages 7 and 3, died of smoke inhalation in a house fire in Woodford County. Two other children escaped the blaze but were injured.

That fire apparently started in the back of the house on Cummins Ferry Road.

Free-lance photographer Reba Hall contributed to this report.

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