City officials were out in force in parts of Knoxville Friday morning performing code enforcements. The city issues notices to property owners for violations that may have a negative effect on the neighborhood.More >>
City officials were out in force in parts of Knoxville Friday morning performing codes enforcements. The city issues notices to property owners for violations that may have a negative effect on the neighborhood.More >>
TELLICO PLAINS (WATE) - A young man and young woman were killed early Wednesday morning after the recreational vehicle they were sleeping in caught fire in Monroe County.
Caleb Lawrence, 22, and Brittany Long, 17, were inside the RV when it caught fire. By the time fire crews arrived, the vehicle was engulfed.
The Tellico Plains Fire Department said the flames sparked shortly after 1:00 a.m.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is investigating, along with the state bomb and arson team.
"At this point, we would rather wait until the autopsies come back, and I don't want to lean either way that there was any kind of foul play. Actually I don't expect that there was, but I don't know," said Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens.
Long's family quickly gathered at their family home, not far from where the fire occurred. They said life won't be the same without her.
"I love Brittany and I want her back. She was a very beautiful person. She had a good heart, and she loved everybody," said Long's cousin Kianna Rogers.
Rogers said Brittany was like a sister to her.
"I miss her... her smile, and the way she is and her personality, and her laugh. She laughed just like me," she said.
Lawrence's father was able to escape the fire. He is said to be friends with the man who owns both the RV and the home where it was parked.
Sheriff Bivens said the age of the victims makes their deaths all the more heartbreaking.
"You never get used to something like this, especially when you see folks as young as they are. The young people seems to hurt much more, they've not had the chance to really live. They've just begun their life at that age."
"Every time I look in the mirror, I'll see her. And every time I laugh, I'll hear her," Rogers added.
Both Lawrence and Long's bodies were sent to UT Medical Center for autopsy.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The RV was parked on private property on Towee Falls Road in the southern part of the county.
Several agencies responded to the fire, including the Tellico Plains Fire Department, the Coker Creek Fire Department, the Conasauga Fire Department and the Monroe County Rescue Squad.
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