BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) – This week marks five years since 10 members of the same family died in a fire. It is the deadliest house fire in our state's history.
Not a day goes by, Janet Tonge doesn't think of her sister, Sherry Maddox, and the nine others that lost their lives when flames erupted at their Bardstown home back in 2007.
"That's something you relive every day," said Tonge.
Six children died that day, Tonge's sister was one of four adults killed inside the rental property the family shared.
"I miss Sherry's laughter," said Tonge. "I miss her craziness. I miss her spunk. I just miss her."
Where the home use to sit on Guthrie Drive is now just an empty lot, but the scene from that day will always haunt her.
"If I hear a fire truck or an ambulance or something it's like I'm like on high alert," said Tonge. "I used to stop my car I couldn't go no further because I would break down in tears."
One person was able to escape the home alive. The Kentucky State Fire Marshall's Office determined a lit cigarette to be the cause, and even though five years have passed the memory of that day will never be erased from Tonge's mind.
"You don't forget it," said Tonge. "You never will forget it. I'm not trying to forget it."
Investigators determined the lack of working smoke detectors allowed the fire to grow before anyone was aware of it. Of the ten victims inside, all died from smoke inhalation.
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