48-year-old Terry York, of Henderson County, Tennessee, was at home, showing friends his AR-15 assault rifle when he unintentionally discharged the gun. Family members told reporters that the gunfire immediately ignited a small fire inside of the home.
The fire did not seem very threatening at first but quickly got out of control and was followed by a series of possible explosions. "It was just like one right after another," said a neighbor. "One explosion right after another." Family members said York kept a lot of ammunition in the room where the fire started. But investigators have not yet determined what caused the explosion.
When the fire started, York's 12-year-old son, Luke, ran into the room to help his father put the fire out. The two did not make it out of the home and had to be pulled out by firefighters. They were found unconscious just steps from the door.
York was pronounced dead at the scene. Luke was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The victims' wife and mother suffered second degree burns to her arms after trying to get back inside the home. Family members said they had just celebrated Luke's twelfth birthday the day before the fire.