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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Carroll County mother was killed in an early morning fire as she rushed back into the burning house to grab supplies for her newborn. Family members are still trying to understand why Wendy Mercer went back inside the burning home. She did it, she said, for a couple of material possessions -- baby bottles and a couple of diapers.
Arnold Smith is still trying to come to grips with what happened to his home and grandson's fiance early Monday morning: "I grabbed my wife, started dragging her, and yelled to my daughter and yelled to get the baby out of there."
He, his wife, and daughter were in one trailer sleeping. In a front trailer lived his grandson William Smith, his grandson's fiancé Wendy Mercer, and their 4-month-old son William Joseph Kelly.
Arnold was awakened by his grandson asking for a bucket of water to put out a fire that started in his trailer because of a space heater. Everyone quickly rushed to safety, but then a split second decision changed everything, as Carroll Co. Sheriff Jamie Kinman explains: "The female did come back at first and then went back into the residence to get some items for the baby."
Family member Donna Spur said, "They said she went in to get a cat, diapers, and milk for the baby." The family says Mercer's body was found in a back room.
Both homes are destroyed. The baby is being cared for by his grandparents. Spur said, "Nothing's worth your life. We don't understand why she went back in there."
Family members say Wendy Mercer has other children. The coroner's office will conduct an autopsy on Tuesday.