Commonwealth Journal

Local News

November 28, 2013

Somerset councilors remember couple who perished in fire

Somerset — The impact of a Lincoln County couple’s tragic deaths is still being felt.

During Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting, councilors Pat Bourne and Jerry Burnett asked that those at the meeting and community members remember Everett and Linda Garland, who were killed in a house fire a little over a week ago in Lincoln County.

“(He was an) extremely nice man, Vietnam veteran, just a good person,” said Bourne, who noted that he and Burnett used to work with Everett Garland, 64.

“Just a super guy,” said Burnett.

A joint funeral was held for the Garlands on Sunday at Morris and Hislope Funeral Home. The couple perished in a fire at their home on Joe McMullin Road off Ky. 328 in Lincoln County. They were Lincoln County residents, but they had strong ties in Pulaski County.

The couple had been members of Eubank Baptist Church for several years before their deaths, and Francis McKinney, a fellow member of the church, told the Commonwealth Journal that she saw Linda Garland, 60, a short time at the church on Tuesday, Nov. 19 as Linda Garland was dropping off some items for Operation Christmas Child.

“They were just good country people who worked hard, tried to raise their family,” said McKinney. “They were satisfied as long as their needs were met.”

The couple would be pronounced dead the very next night, on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Linda Garland grew up in the Eubank area, learning to farm and love the land. Eventually, she would work at Paul’s Discount store in Somerset, McKinney told area media outlets.

Everett Garland’s family comes largely from Indiana, but the Hoosier roots didn’t seem to prevent Linda from falling for him. He and Linda were married in the late 1970s at Polly Ann Baptist Church — a small, steepled building less than a mile from their home.

The blaze was reported at the Garlands’ home just after 11 p.m. Nov. 20, according to Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy. Firefighters believe the flames started in the rural home’s living room and spread to the attic.

Everett Garland was pronounced dead by Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum after his body was found in the burned double-wide trailer. Linda Garland was transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by Pulaski County Deputy Coroner Anthony Gossett.

The situation took a more tragic twist when police arrested a juvenile in the case. The juvenile, identified through Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum as the Garlands’ granddaughter, 16, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of arson. The granddaughter was in the home when it caught fire, and she reportedly called 911 to report the blaze.

The case is expected to be presented to a Lincoln County grand jury.

“It’s extremely tragic,” said Burnett, during Monday’s meeting.

Councilors also asked that the community remember Anne Compton, a local woman long known for her dedication to the Somerset High School Briar Jumpers football program, as she recovers from injuries sustained in a serious car accident on U.S. 27 in Lincoln County last week.

The councilors also remembered former councilor Eugene “Skip” Padgett, who passed away earlier this month.

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