Neighbors tried to save woman in deadly Caraway house fire

Neighbors tried to save woman in deadly Caraway house fire
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
LaDonna Sneed (Source: Facebook)
LaDonna Sneed (Source: Facebook)

CARAWAY, AR (KAIT) - Homeowners on Kentucky Street in Caraway are still trying to come to grips with a deadly house fire that happened Monday afternoon.

"It didn't look like it was on fire," Claudia Martinez said.

According to the Craighead County Sheriff's Department, the fire started just after 1:00 p.m. Monday.

53-year-old LaDonna Sneed died in the fire.

Martinez said the scene changed dramatically in the course of just a few minutes.

"I had just barely pulled up and I seen a little smoke," Martinez said. "I didn't think nothing of it because he's always burning leaves. Everybody around here, they're always burning leaves."

Martinez said she and other neighbors didn't realize something horribly wrong was happening until minutes later.

"I was about to talk to a neighbor and I heard someone hollering 'Help, help!'" Martinez said.

Martinez said it was Sneed's husband yelling.

"We all ran over there immediately and the guys were just trying to break down the door," Martinez explained.

Martinez said when they were finally able to open the door, smoke poured out.

"When it cleared up kind of we saw her, her body just laying there," she said.

Because there was a death, the Craighead County Sheriff's Department was called in to investigate.

Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd said the goal now is to figure out what happened.

"It's still early on in the investigation," Boyd said. "The fire department is going to be looking at the structure and of course the sheriff's office is going to be handling the investigation also."

As for Martinez, who has only lived on the street for a couple months, she told Region 8 News that she's grateful to live in an area where people would try and run into a burning building to save a neighbor.

"That was very nice of everybody trying to help," Martinez said.

An arson investigator with the Jonesboro Fire Department was called to the home to help investigate.

The sheriff's department told Region 8 News that is standard operating procedure since there was a death from the fire.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android