November 24, 2017
A Coffey Family Tragedy
A family of three, the father and two young sons, tragically died in a house fire in Washburn, Grainger Co., TN on the night of 26 March 1962. The mother escaped the fire but with second and third degree burns did not long survive. She died on 29 March 1962 in a Knoxville hospital.
The fire was first suspected of being caused by an electrical wiring failure but was later determined to have been caused when the stove exploded and set the wife's clothing afire.
The family was that of 21 year old Jerry Conard Coffey, his wife Lucy Mae Smith Coffey, age 18 and their two sons, Jerry Lynn, age 2 and Tommy Douglas, age about 9 months! Jerry and Lucy had been married one month short of three years.
Jerry was the son of Walter Mason and Edna Eva Hipshire Coffey while Lucy was the daughter of Herbert and Bertha Frye Smith.