Uncle fails to save 7 from Ky. house fire
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:21 p.m.
GRAY, Ky. — Gino Cima raced to a house as it was engulfed by flames in rural Kentucky, frantically trying to save his nephew, his nephew's pregnant fiancee and five young children inside. But he was too late: He found his nephew's body near a side door, laying in a way that suggested the man had been trying to rescue the sleeping children.
He said he screamed to firefighters: “There's babies in that house!”
Cima said Sunday that he arrived within minutes of hearing of the Saturday morning blaze.
“When I opened the screen door, she was laying at the door with her head to the door. And I pulled her out,” he said, speaking softly. “And about 2 feet from her laying the other way was (my nephew). And I went in and got him and pulled him out. But they was done gone. There wasn't nothing I could do.”
He said he then raced to the front of the house to try to save the children.
“And that's when they had the five babies laying out in the front yard,” he said.
Family members said the five children killed ranged in age from 10 months to 3 years.
Relatives said the nephew's fiancée was the mother of three of the children who died. The other two children were siblings, friends of the family at a sleepover.
Officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation. No foul play was suspected. State police said Sunday that no more information on the fire would be released until Monday.
Laura Cima, Gino's wife, said they owned the single-story, wood-frame house that the couple was renting. The family had recently moved in and were busy painting and getting carpets cleaned. They shared a bedroom in the back of the house, and Laura Cima said the children were sleeping in a front room.
Gray is a few miles outside Corbin, a city of about 7,000 in the foothills of Appalachia near the Daniel Boone National Forest and the borders of Tennessee and Virginia.
Shannon Disney, a sister-in-law of one of the victims, said the house that burned down is surrounded by homes of family members — so many that the area is nicknamed “Disneyland.”
“Everybody is very heartbroken over it. Everybody knows the Disney family,” said Amy Weddle, who was working Sunday at J&G Market, a popular convenience store where the couple and the children frequently stopped to buy candy and milk. “They're always good to everybody.”
Weddle put a jar on the counter Sunday seeking donations to help pay for burial expenses. It had four $1 dollar bills in it Sunday morning.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect foreign helicopter firms still on Pentagon payroll
- Americans move toward better health
- Budget deal reverses $63B in cuts, excludes extension of jobless benefits
- Kerry urges Congress not to push Iran sanctions
- Nevada search has very happy ending
- $80M awarded in collision in which N.M. woman suffocated in sand
- ‘Walking Dead’ actress guilty of sending ricin letters
- Web ‘sextortionist’ jailed on 31 felony counts
- Teen found with dead fetus heads toward trial on shoplifting charges
- Senate panel vets noncontroversial IRS nominee
- ‘Volcker Rulee_SSRq restricts banks in risky investments