Tennessee blaze kills 3 women, injures 11 other people

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A fire broke out at a home housing recovering addicts Wednesday, killing three women and injuring 11, officials in Tennessee said. They said the home had no working smoke alarms or fire sprinklers.

The Nashville Fire Department confirmed the deaths on its Twitter account. The department said 12 adults and a child were living in the house, which was operating as a residential recovery program.

Police identified those who died as Kathleen Baird, 22; Tammy Nelson, 36; and Elizabeth Lopez, 35.

Officials said in a statement that firefighters were called to the home shortly after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and arrived to see flames coming from the structure and people outside who said others were trapped in the house.

Firefighters were able to remove everyone from the home, but three later died. Four others, including a boy, were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. A firefighter also received a minor burn and was treated at the hospital.

Fire department spokesman Joseph Pleasant said the home was owned by Footprints to Recovery, which according to its website offers services to help people recover from drug and alcohol addiction. It operates three halfway houses, two for women in Nashville, and one for men on the Brentwood side of Davidson County, according to its website. The organization’s program director said Thursday it would issue a statement later.

The operator is a Tennessee organization and is not affiliated with an organization based in Chicago that operates in four other states with a similar name, but a different website.

Investigators remained on the scene into the afternoon. A photo posted on the fire department’s account shows a one-story brick house with a hole in the roof. The cause is under investigation.

The deadly blaze comes two days after a firefighter was killed and four others injured when part of a home collapsed after catching fire in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, which is about 80 miles (about 130 kilometers) southwest of Nashville.

Lawrenceburg Fire Department Chaplain Chad Moore said 38-year-old fire engineer Jason Dickey died Monday after becoming trapped with other firefighters.

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