Fire victims identified; memorial services set
Police and medical examiners are still trying to positively identify the victims found in a burned house at Flat Gap, but the funeral home responsible for burial has identified them as the residents of the home, Joseph E. Maggard, 61, and his wife Donna Maggard, 51.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Jody Sims said positive identification is taking longer than normal because of the condition of the bodies and that that dental records could not be used for identification.
The bodies were discovered Thursday, March 9, by Joseph L. Maggard of Cumberland, who went to the home to check on his father and found the house destroyed, Sims said.
“At 8:28 a.m. Thursday, a lady called and said her neighbor had found the residence burned and was unable to locate his father,” Sims said.
The Maggard home on Joseph Drive was at the head of a hollow, a quarter-mile from the nearest neighbor and surrounded by thick forest. Sims said Post 13, which operates the 911 call center for the area, did not receive a report of the fire until the discovery Thursday. The ashes were not smoking Thursday morning, and the only thing left standing was the chimney. Authorities believe the fire occurred at least two days prior to the discovery.
Sims said Kentucky State Police, the state Fire Marshal, Cumberland River Volunteer Fire Department and the Letcher County Coroner’s office responded to the scene and recovered the remains of two people from the ashes. So far there is nothing to indicate the cause of the fire, Sims said.
Joseph E. Maggard was a self-employed carpenter and mechanic.
Donna M. Maggard was originally from Michigan. She was a homemaker.
A memorial service for the Maggards will be held today, Wednesday, at 7 p.m.Tri-City Funeral Home in Benham.
Born in Michigan, Donna Maggard was a daughter of the late Thomas and Annette Crider Howard. She was a sister of the late Carla Ward.
Joseph Maggard was a son of the late Delmer L. and Elva Sturgill Maggard and was born in Lynch. He was also preceded in death by a son, Christopher Maggard; two brothers, Tim Maggard and Dan Maggard; and a sister, Kathy Gross.
Mrs. Maggard is survived by two daughters, Keyaira Hughes and husband Timmy of Lawrenceburg, and Candis Gilliam of Gordon; a son, Cody Ison and wife Tiffany of Monticello; two brothers, Tony Howard of Harlan, and Robert Howard of Lexington; two sisters, Star Blair of Lexington, and Charlsey Day of Georgia; and grandchildren, Hailee, Madison, Jacob and Bradley Hughes, Cameron Augusta, Tyler Gilliam, and Isabella and Peyton Ison.
Surviving Mr. Maggard are a son, Joe Maggard of Cumberland; two brothers, Paul Maggard and Johnny Maggard, both of Eolia; two sisters, Elizabeth Sturgill of Indiana, and Josephine Bala of Cumberland.