Special needs teen killed in Knoxville mobile home fire - WKRN News 2

Special needs teen killed in Knoxville mobile home fire

Posted: Updated: Dec 8, 2013 12:02 AM
The fire is believed to have started in the laundry room. The fire is believed to have started in the laundry room.
Twin brothers, 19, were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation where one later died. Twin brothers, 19, were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation where one later died.
(Source: Family friend) Mark Jernigan and dog "Pee Wee" were killed in a mobile home fire Saturday. (Source: Family friend) Mark Jernigan and dog "Pee Wee" were killed in a mobile home fire Saturday.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A mobile home erupted in flames Saturday morning and killed a teen and his dog.

According to Capt. DJ Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department, it happened at a home along J.R. Drive off Amherst Road around 8 a.m.

Firefighters say Mark A. Jernigan, 19, passed away as a result of unrecoverable smoke inhalation. Jernigan and his twin brother Cletus Jernigan were home at the time of the incident.

Cletus Jernigan was able to get out of the house on his own. Firefighters pulled Mark Jernigan from the home, but he was later pronounced dead at UT Medical Center.

Kyle Schadewald is a good friend to Cletus Jernigan, he describes Mark Jernigan as full of life and always happy.

Mark Jernigan was a 2013 Karns High School graduate. The Family says Jernigan had special needs, but those who knew him say he was very active and loved to play basketball. 

"He was always running around the neighborhood, talking to everyone, playing basketball, always at the pool. So filled with life-- always happy and joyful," said Schadewald.

The Jernigan family says the twin brothers had a strong bond, Cleatus watched over Mark closely.

Cletus was later released from UT Medical Center and treated for minor smoke inhalation. A family friend says he was lucky to survive.

"He really did get lucky. I know he loved his brother but by the grace of god, only one of them we're able to walk away," said Schadewald.

The Jernigans' younger sister and mother also lived at the home.  Both were not home at the time of the fire. The American Red Cross is providing assistance to  the surviving family members.

Capt. Corcoran says this is the first fire-related fatality for the city of Knoxville this year. The fire is believed to have started in laundry room, but it remains under investigation.

The family dog "Pee-wee" was also killed in the fire.

 

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