Neighbor shares account of helping parents escape house fire, twins found dead in remains


TOTZ, Ky. (WATE) – Kentucky State Police have identified the injured parents of 3-year-old twins found dead after a house fire Monday in Kentucky.

Police said around 6:30 p.m. Monday, the twins’ bodies were found inside the home in Harlan County, Kentucky. They were pronounced dead and sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy.

The twins’ parents, Dennis Chad Howard, 39; and Allyson Howard, 42, were flown to a hospital in Augusta, Georgia, with life-threatening injuries.

The home on Ky. 522 in the Totz community caught fire just after 11 a.m. Monday morning.

Shawn Crow, the Howards’ next door neighbor, was getting ready to take a nap after a night at work when he heard a blast coming from the home.

Crow said he rushed outside and saw flames coming from the Howards’ home.

He rushed to help, along with some other neighbors.

Crow said he first saw Chad Howard, running out of the home with his hair on fire. Shortly after, he saw Allyson Howard roll down the steps.

Crow said Allyson was severely burned. He and another neighbor ran to get her away from the home.

“We grabbed her by the arms and legs and drug her and, I know it’s painful, but we was just trying to get her into safety,” Crow said.

Crow grabbed blankets and soaked them with water before covering Allyson Howard with them.

He said it took firefighters a little long to get to the scene, and once they were there they had to use a collapsible tank for water because there wasn’t a fire hydrant close by.

Crow also said an ambulance never came.

“You know ambulance service, I never seen them. We were, we actually drove her in the back of the truck to the helicopter,” Crow said.

He said they arrived at the pickup location before the helicopter.

Firefighters worked for several hours to put out the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Relatives of the Howard family set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for the destroyed home and medical bills.

The family said 83% of Allyson Howard’s body was severely burned.

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