Pastor says 2 children escape Tennessee fire that killed 5

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN/AP) – A Tennessee pastor says two sisters escaped from a fire at their home that left the rest of their family dead.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew says five people died in the blaze that was reported late Thursday at a home in Buchanan which is a rural area along the Kentucky state line about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Nashville.

Belew said crews didn’t immediately find anything suspicious about the fire. He called it “a horrific, tragic accident.”

The family’s minister Randy Stephens told WKRN a 3-year-old girl, 4-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy were killed along with their parents.

Stephens said one of the surviving girls woke to the smell of smoke and began trying to rescue her family members.

She was only able to save her 8-year-old sister, who was taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor burns.

The 13-year-old ran to her grandmother’s house across the street for help but was unable to get back into the home.

Representative for Henry County Schools Susan Burton said it was is a tragic day for the county and community of Buchanan and Lakewood schools.

The schools have grief counselors on-site and school counselors, principals and teachers are on hand to provide counseling support to students and staff.

Multiple fire departments responded to the fire and crews are now in the recovery and investigation phase.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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