Grandfather and 3 year-old grandson remembered after fatal house fire

Knoxville Fire Department officials said the fire started around 3:00 a.m. Monday morning.
The Knoxville Fire Department says the fire started around 3:00 A.M Monday morning.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 11:23 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A 67-year-old grandfather and his three-year-old grandson died in a house fire early Monday morning, according to the Knoxville Fire Department.

“I was shocked just on the loss of life and it’s crazy something like that happened only a few doors down.” said one neighbor on Mississippi Avenue.

The mother of the three-year-old boy, which the family identified as Keith, was at work when the fire started, according to KFD.

One neighbor called the 67-year-old a “good man” and added that neighbors would help mow his lawn from time to time.

Across the street from the home surrounded by red tape is Gloria Thompson who said she’s known her neighbors for years.

In fact, Thompson has a three-year-old granddaughter of her own who loved playing with Keith any chance she got.

“She said, ‘that’s my friend, Nana, can I go play with my friend?’” said Thompson.

Just a day before the fire, Thompson recalled watching her granddaughter play basketball in the driveway with Keith.

Now, as a family deals with unfathomable tragedy, Thompson is forced to have a tough conversation of her own.

“She’ll probably be here this weekend and she’ll probably want to play with Keith and I’ll just tell her Keith gone to Heaven baby and she won’t understand. She won’t understand it,” said Thompson.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined but according to KFD officials, the fire seemed to start in the living room, and the home did have a smoke detector.