Pippa Passes, KY (June 13, 2016) – An early morning fire at a Knott County apartment building has left one person dead. Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call at around 5:50 a.m. advising of the fire. Post 13 personnel responded to the residence on Highway 899, in the Pippa Passes community, along with members of Pippa Passes and Hindman Volunteer Fire Departments. When Troopers and Fire Department officials arrived at the scene, they found that the structure was completely engulfed in flames.
During the course of extinguishing the fire, firefighters discovered what appeared to be human remains inside one of the two apartments in the building. KSP Post 13 Detective Chris Collins, Arson Investigator Randy Gabbard, and KSP Post 9 Arson Investigator Nick Endicott were called to the scene and began their initial investigation. The preliminary investigation determined that the victim and his wife were awakened by the fire inside their apartment. Carol Burden was able to get out of the residence, but her husband was not. Knott County Coroner Jeff Blair responded to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased. Further investigation and contact with family members led to the positive identification of the victim as 59 year old Gene Spencer Burden, of Pippa Passes.
No foul play is suspected in this incident, and an autopsy will not be performed. Detective Chris Collins is continuing this investigation.