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Officials Continue Seeking Answers in Deadly Beechmont Fire

Beechfire1BEECHMONT, Ky. (5/26/13) – Muhlenberg County and state officials continue to investigate the tragic death of a Beechmont couple after a fire engulfed their home this weekend.
 
Douglass C. Smith, age 51, and his wife, Donita J. Smith, age 49, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials with the coroners' offices early Saturday morning.

Beechmont Fire Department's Assistant Fire Chief Eugene Miller told Surfky.com News that "Central Dispatch received a call at 3:40 a.m. Saturday morning, and contacted fire department personnel at 3:42 a.m. We arrived at the scene at 3:47 a.m. and began fighting the fire at the home located at 287 Hazel Creek Road."

The Drakesboro and Greenville Fire Departments also responded to the fire.
 
Miller said the Muhlenberg Sheriff's Department, EMS and the Kentucky State Fire Marshal's office were also at the scene.

"They did a preliminary investigation. That investigation, as far as I know, is still ongoing," Miller added. "The couple did have two sons. One did live with the couple, but was not at the home at the time of the fire."

Muhlenberg Deputy Coroner Lee Williams and Deputy Coroner Larry Vincent also spoke with Surfky.com News Sunday about the fire.

Williams stressed the investigation is still in the very early stages, and agreed with Asst. Fire Chief Miller that the actual cause of the fire cannot be determined at this time, adding "everything is still in the primarily stages and being conducted  by the State Fire Marshal's office."

Williams also verified that "the victims' bodies were sent to Louisville sometime Saturday morning for an autopsy."

Vincent added that, due to the fact it is a holiday weekend, there may not be a full staff at the Louisville headquarters, so he could not estimate when the final results would be finished. However, officials are hoping autopsies could be completed as soon as possible so the investigation can move forward.

Vincent added that although an exact cause has not been determined, "at this stage I do not see any reason to suspect foul play."   

According to a spokesman for Tucker Funeral Home, joint services for Mr. and Mrs. Smith will be held Thursday, May 30th, at 1:00 p.m. at Tucker funeral Home in Central City with Rev. Chad Clark officiating. Burial will be in Wyatts Chapel Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday after 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Paul McRee
SurfKY News

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