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NEW INFO: Name Released in Deadly in Pike County, Ky. House Fire

UPDATE 4/8/13 @ 5:40 p.m.
JOHNS CREEK, Ky. (WSAZ) - The daughter of a Pike County woman killed in a house fire said her mother was her "best friend."

Family members say Rebecca Sue Blankenship, 41, died in the fire at her house on Drift Branch Road in Johns Creek early Saturday morning..

Blankenship's daughter, Ashley Blankenship, 20, said her mother "was the greatest person there ever was."

"She just meant everything to me," Blankenship said. "I mean she was my mom. Me and her were real close. We were best friends."

Firefighters arrived at the home around 2:30 a.m. Saturday and put out the fire before being called back a few hours later. The second time is when they found Blankenship's body.

Gulnare Fire Chief Philip Smith said the second call likely came from a neighbor who saw the smoldering remains of the house and thought the structure might still be on fire.

"We immediately started to put out the fire and there wasn't a car present," Smith said. "And based on what I had at that time I did not believe that there was anybody in the house."

Firefighters did not search the house on the first call.

Smith said a search the first time would not have been enough to save Rebecca Sue Blankenship's life, but he still wishes he could do it over.

Blankenship said she is struggling to deal with the loss of her mother.

"I can barely sleep. I can barely eat," she said. "I wake up during the night squalling for her. I mean I just can't deal with it really."

Investigators have not said what caused the fire.



ORIGINAL STORY
PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A person is dead after fire rips through their home in Pike County, Kentucky.

The fire happened Saturday in the Gulnare area.

Kentucky State Police say the body was found after the fire was put out.

Firefighters with the Gulnare Volunteer Fire Department say they were dispatched to the residence on Drift Branch road twice Saturday morning.

"Originally got the call about 2:30, there was no one on scene, no car, we originally thought there was nobody in the house," said Gulnare Chief Philip Smith.

Chief Smith says they put out the fire and left the scene about 6 a.m., they were then called back out to the location just after 9 a.m. when a neighbor noticed the fire had started back up.

"A neighbor came down and said he thought there was someone in the house when we arrived and within ten minutes we found the deceased," said Gulnare Chief Philip Smith.

Fire officials do not believe the home had a working smoke detector.

Deputy State Fire Marshal David Broderick says it is alarming the amount of homes without the first line of defense, a smoke detector.

"Fire departments within Pike County and the Pike County Firefighters Association are working diligently to prevent fires through a smoke detector giveaway program."

Investigators are still trying to figure out what started the fire.

The name of the victim has not been released. The person’s body has been sent to Frankfort to be identified.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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