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The Latest: Sheriff calls 2 young fire survivors ‘heroes’

BUCHANAN, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on a fire at a northwest Tennessee home that killed five people (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A Tennessee sheriff says a 13-year-old girl saved her 8-year-old sister’s life in a fire at their home that killed five family members.

At a news conference Friday, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew called 13-year-old Lilly Pollack and 8-year-old Rose Pollack heroes for their action in the fire in Buchanan.

Belew says officials received the 911 call before midnight Thursday. Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department Chief Reggie Coles said the home was already two-thirds engulfed when firefighters arrived. He believes the five victims were already deceased by then. Firefighters couldn’t get into the house amid the blaze.

Belew said when Lily made it outside, she heard someone calling inside, stepped in and got Rose out. They ran to their grandmother’s house next door and called 911.

Belew named parents Jimmy Pollack and Carrie Pollack, and children Jimmy Dale Pollack Jr.,14; Callie Pollack, 3; and Ivy Pollack, 4; as the deceased.

Belew says first responders didn’t find any smoke detectors in the home.

Officials don’t view the fire as suspicious. They are still investigating the cause, which could be faulty wiring or a wood stove.

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10 a.m.

A Tennessee pastor says two sisters escaped from a fire at their home that left the rest of their family dead.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew says five people died in the blaze that was reported late Thursday at a home in Buchanan which is a rural area along the Kentucky state line about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Nashville.

The family’s pastor, Randy Stephens, told news outlets that one of the surviving girls awoke to the smell of smoke and tried to wake the others. The 13-year-old girl was able to get a younger sister out of the home. Stephens says the teen ran across the street to her grandmother’s house for help, but they weren’t able to get back in the residence.

7:45 a.m.

A sheriff says five people are dead after a house fire in northwestern Tennessee.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew confirmed the deaths Friday morning and said crews were still at the scene investigating.

The blaze was reported late Thursday, a few minutes before midnight in Buchanan, which is a rural area along the Kentucky state line about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Nashville.

Belew said crews didn’t immediately find anything suspicious about the fire, calling it “a horrific, tragic accident.”

Photos posted on TV websites show a blackened, partially collapsed structure surrounded by children’s toys.

No other details were immediately available.

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An earlier version of the story incorrectly said the fire was reported early Friday. It was actually reported late Thursday.

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