Overnight Fire Kills Four - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Mississippi County--Ron Smiley reports

Overnight Fire Kills Four

December 16, 2004--Posted 5:00 pm CST


Manila -The investigation into an early morning fire which left fourMississippi County residents dead is complete, according to Mississippi County Investigators.  Lieutenant Brian Cirtes with the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department says it is obvious a space heater located in one of the rear bedrooms of the house was to blame for the fire.


According to police, a neighbor called in the fire at around 2:30 am.  She reported seeing large amounts of smoke billowing out of the building.  The Manila Fire Department quickly responded and was able to put out the fire.  Police say firemen found 39-year-old Tena Rinehart and her two daughters Tonya and Robyn dead in the front bedroom.  Her fourteen year old son Brian was also found dead in the home.

Investigators also believe the fire began shortly after power was restored to the home.  The Mississippi County Electric Coop confirms the home and others across Mississippi County were without power for about three hours overnight.  The outage could not be avoided while work was done to repair the power grid.  The Mississippi County Electric Coop says they have also opened up an internal investigation into the cause of the fire.


Across Manila the news spread fast.  Neighbors stopped by the home all morning long to pay their respects.  One friend of the family laid flowers in front of the home saying, “They were a good family and no one, but certainly them, deserve this.”

Investigators also say no smoke alarm was found in the home.


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