Arson is suspected in a Sunday evening blaze that damaged an Emlyn home that was the scene of a triple homicide nearly one year ago.
The home, which was owned by Larry and Courtney Taylor, was initially scheduled to be sold through a special master commissioner’s auction at noon Monday at the Whitley County Judicial Center, but the auction was canceled due to the fire.
First Volunteer Bank of Tennessee filed suit on April 28, against Courtney L. Taylor, and the estate and next of kin of her late husband, Larry W. Taylor, in an attempt to foreclose on the mortgage.
“It was definitely arson,” said Emlyn Volunteer Fire Chief Matt Witt.
So far there are no suspects in Sunday’s blaze. A Kentucky State Police arson investigator examined the scene of the blaze Tuesday.
The fire was first reported to Whitley County E-911 dispatchers at 6:24 p.m. Sunday, and the first of nearly 20 firefighters arrived two minutes later at the scene, which was about 1.5 miles away from the fire department.
Witt said there were a couple of firefighters already at the fire station when the fire was reported.
When firefighters arrived at the 2070 US25W South home, they discovered a table in the kitchen on fire, Witt said.
Firefighters estimated that the fire had been burning for about 45 minutes before it was noticed and reported to emergency officials.
Witt said that it took firefighters about 15 minutes until they were certain that the fire was extinguished.
“We did extinguish it in a hurry,” Witt noted.
The middle of the kitchen was the only area that suffered fire damage. Most of the rest of the damage was due to heat or smoke.
About a dozen Emlyn firefighters responded to the scene in addition to about half a dozen Williamsburg firefighters, who responded to provide mutual aid.
Witt said that his department asked for assistance because of the size of the three-bedroom, one and one-half bath home.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they discovered the front door unlocked and two windows raised, which Witt said is unusual.
“We’re pretty sure they entered and left through the front door,” he noted.
It is currently undetermined whether any accelerants were used.
Firefighters have had no other fire calls at the residence, Witt said.
Courtney Taylor is charged with three counts of capital murder for allegedly shooting her husband, Larry Taylor, 56, and their two daughters, Jesse Taylor, 18, and Jolee Taylor, 13, to death on Jan. 13. She is also facing two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for pointing a 9 mm handgun at two Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies, who responded to the scene to investigate the shooting.
One of the deputies shot her twice with his service weapon when she allegedly pointed a gun at him. She is currently lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million cash bond.