Press Conference held regarding Fatal Franklin Fire

By Gary Scott on January 31, 2017 at 6:17pm

Authorities held a press conference yesterday afternoon regarding the fatal fire in Franklin that occurred early Tuesday morning.

The fire took the lives of three people – 26-year old Betsie Austif and her two children, three-year old Jacob and three-month old Jocelyn. A fourth victim, Jonathan Austif, was the lone survivor of the blaze and was being treated at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield as of yesterday afternoon.

Phil McCarty, with the Morgan County Emergency Management Office and West Central Joint ETSB, says a number of agencies assisted in the response.

McCarty says the incident is still under investigation.

As for where to go from here, McCarty says they’re currently focused on assisting the family and first responders.

Authorities say the fire was limited to the one, story-and-a-half residence in the 400 block of East Main Street in Franklin, and that it is too early in the investigation to determine a cause.

McCarty did confirm that the lone survivor, Jonathan Austif, is a member of the Franklin volunteer fire department, and that they are working to set up a way for the community to give back to the victim’s family.