Woman killed in Townsend house fire, children unharmed
6 News was first on the scene after a massive house fire left one person dead.
The structure was still billowing after dawn on Monday morning.
"We were not able to make entry due to the fire," said Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Chief Don Stallions. "The fire had already expanded quite a bit throughout the house."
"It's tragic," said Steve Stout, the principal at Townsend Elementary School. "It's a tragedy. We are a tight-knit community up here and anytime anything like this happens it just really affects everybody in the area."
TOWNSEND (WATE) - One person died early Monday morning in a deadly house fire that broke out in Blount County.
Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Chief Don Stallions said firefighters found a woman's body inside the home.
Flames were first spotted at the Townsend home in the 200 block of Webb Road around 3:00 a.m. The home was described as a large farm house.
"We were not able to make entry due to the fire," said Stallions. "The fire had already expanded quite a bit throughout the house."
Firefighters also found three children, aged 5, 8, and 12, in a car outside the home who were all unharmed. A sheriff's office spokeswoman said they were being cared for by family members.
Steve Stout, the principal at Townsend Elementary School, was notified shortly after the children were found.
"Officer Clark with the sheriff's department called around three this morning and needed to know the names of some children that might live in that house," said Stout.
Stout said two of the children found in the car went to his school - a boy in kindergarten, and his sister, a third grader.
He said the family had two other children, a sixth grader, and an older child. Stout also mentioned children's father died this summer due to health related problems.
A school representative was sent to be with the children. They did not have any immediate relatives nearby and were waiting for family to arrive from Atlanta.
"It's tragic," said Stout. "It's a tragedy. We are a tight-knit community up here and anytime anything like this happens it just really affects everybody in the area. It's just tragic for these two kids, these four kids, actually."
Thick, white smoke billowed from the structure for hours after the fire first started.
Students at Townsend Elementary, which is located across the street from the fire, were not allowed to go outside for recess due to the smoke.
The body of the victim was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center where an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.
The Blount County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
The Townsend Volunteer Fire Department and the Blount County Fire Department both responded to the fire.
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