Community mourns the death of man killed in house fire

Community mourns the death of man killed in house fire
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

TURRELL, AR (KAIT) - Memorial Day will be a sad holiday for one community as they mourn the death of a Turrell man who died in a house fire Friday evening.

Around 9 p.m., fire crews were called to a home in the 300-block of Eureka Street. When crews arrived, the home was already fully engulfed.

They soon learned that a man was still inside.

According to the Turrell Mayor Dorothy Cooper, someone woke her up at night telling her about the fire.

She along with several others in the community were heartbroken when they found out that the homeowner, Jimmy Bailes, was in bed when the flames burned through the home.

She said that Bailes was a great man who was well-known in the entire community.

She urges everyone to remember just how loving he was.

"Just keep remembering Mr. Jimmy," Cooper said. "How nice and how kind he was, how giving. If you can do anything be the person that he was, helping others."

Bailes has lived in Turrell for over 50 years.

Jack Peden was a good friend who has lived with Bailes for the past two years.

"He was the type of person that would have helped anybody if they called him," Peden said.

Little did he know, he would have his final conversation with Bailes Friday evening.

"The last thing he told me, he said 'give me a glass of ice and a coke before you leave,'" Peden said. "I told him, I said, 'I'll be back in a couple of hours to check on him' and he said, 'when you come back why don't you go ahead and spend the night.' I said, 'oh I probably will.' And that was the last time I talked to him."

Peden always made it a point to watch over and take care of Bailes.

Bailes has had several health problems, though.

Peden said he had recently checked out of the hospital and was given only three months to live.

"I'm just going to miss him forever," Peden said. "I never thought anything was going to happen that night."

That night, Peden lost not only a friend in the fire, but his dog as well.

"I named her Paris, I raised her from 8 days old," Peden said. "He spoiled her more than I did I think."

In this time of sorrow, Peden continues to hold the memories he has of Bailes near and dear to his heart.

"He loved everybody, all his family," Peden said. "He was great in my opinion. Me and him, we had our ups and downs but it always turned out good."

Mayor Cooper said she is waiting on a report from the Marion Fire Department and other officials to determine what exactly happened.

As of now, they do not know a cause of the fire.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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