KY – NEIGHBORS PULL WOMAN AWAY FROM HOME BUT ARE UNABLE TO SAVE HUSBAND, SISTER

By Jason McAlister, HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

Two people were killed in an explosion at a Somerset home Friday night, and a third person remained hospitalized yesterday.

Carlos Jackson, 57, and Jackson’s sister-in-law, Dreama Sue Curry, 53, were killed, Pulaski County Chief Deputy Coroner Jim McWhorter said.

Jackson and Curry were found inside the house, which was completely burned by a fire that followed the blast.

Their bodies were being sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort, McWhorter said.

Jackson’s wife, Shyrl Jackson, was pulled from the burning home by neighbors. She was taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset, where she was being treated for second-degree burns and back injuries, McWhorter said.

State fire marshals were still investigating the cause of the explosion, McWhorter said, but witnesses said it might have been caused by the home’s propane furnace.

Neighbor Sean Lewis, 32, said he was in his home Friday about 6 p.m. when he heard an explosion. He said when he stepped outside, he heard a woman cry for help.

Lewis and another neighbor, Shawn Stanley, rushed across a field to the Jacksons’ house and found Shyrl Jackson at the front porch, Lewis said.

“She was yelling, ‘My sister, my husband!'” Lewis said.

Lewis said he entered the house, which was on fire in the rear and had shifted on its foundation after the blast.

He said he found Carlos Jackson, who was in a wheelchair, “pinned by something,” and Lewis was unable to free him.

Lewis said he fled when Stanley told him it appeared the roof was about to cave in.

Lewis and Stanley then carried Shyrl Jackson to safety, Lewis said. A second explosion caused the roof to collapse. “We knew there was nothing we could do,” he said.

The witnesses speculated that the house might have exploded when Shyrl Jackson tried to light a propane furnace. They said a 250-gallon propane tank was lying about 20 yards from the house, but it remained intact.

Lewis said Shyrl Jackson told him that her husband was chilly, so she lit the furnace. “I was just glad I was home” to help her, Lewis said.