Officials: 2 children killed in Christmas fire

Officials: 2 children killed in Christmas fire

December 26th, 2009 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Officials say two children were killed in an early Christmas morning fire at the home of a former ambassador to Latvia and major GOP fundraiser who has been considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Fire officials said the blaze destroyed the home of Cathy and Irv Bailey on the outskirts of Louisville.

A spokesman for the Bailey family confirmed in the statement that two children were killed, but did not give their names or ages.

Maj. Henry Ott of the Louisville Metro Arson Squad said the children were ages 10 and 12. The victims' identities were not immediately released.

Chief Chris Aponte of the Harrods Creek Fire Department says three firefighters were also injured battling the blaze, which was reported by an alarm system at 4:37 a.m. EST.

Aponte told The Courier-Journal the children's parents and grandparents had escaped the fire and were trying to rescue the children when firefighters arrived.

Bailey spokesman Scott Jennings said in the statement that both Irv and Cathy Bailey were taken to a hospital but said their injuries were not life-threatening. Jennings did not identify the hospital.

"Two chidren were killed in this tragedy, and the Bailey family is requesting privacy at this time of great loss," the statement said.

Ott said four people were on the first floor of the house and one was in the basement when the fire started, with the two children on the second floor.

Aponte said firefighters were injured trying to get into the house. Two have minor burns and the other was being evaluated for an ankle injury.

Ott said the house was mostly consumed by the fire.

Cathy Bailey was ambassador to Latvia from 2005 to 2007. She headed the fundraising for President George W. Bush in Kentucky in 2004, and her husband, a businessman, was also a major Bush fundraiser that year. She was a top supporter of Republican Sen. John McCain in his run against President Barack Obama.

Cathy Bailey is also chairman of the board of Operation Open Arms, a Louisville-based nonprofit organization that provides homes for children whose mothers are incarcerated.

Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com