UPDATE: Names released in fatal Marked Tree fire - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

UPDATE: Names released in fatal Marked Tree fire

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
MARKED TREE, AR (KAIT) -

UPDATE: The names of those killed in a fatal house fire in Marked Tree have been release.

Marked Tree Police Chief Michael Matlock confirms to Region 8 News those who died are 3-year-old Joseph Wilson, Jr. and 76-year-old Laura Manness.

Matlock says investigators believe one of the survivors of the fire was sleeping with a cigarette which caught the bedding on fire.

While trying to remove the bedding the fire spread, according to the chief.

Marked Tree police state on their Facebook page a candle light vigil service for the victims will be held on Brigance Ave. Saturday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m.


An overnight house fire killed a toddler and his great grandmother in Marked Tree Monday.

Five people were reportedly in the home at the time of the fire. Two adults and one child managed to get out of the home while the two others were trapped inside.

Wayne Wicker with the Marked Tree Police Dispatch told Region 8 News crews responded to a mobile home fire at 126 Brigance Ave.

The house became fully engulfed shortly before 1 a.m. The fire appeared to start at the back end of the home.

Neighbors and friends were somber Monday afternoon as they tried to piece together what happened.

A woman, whose name has not been released, was inside of the home during the fire. She and her daughter were sleeping on the couch watching cartoons, saying it was a typical Sunday night until she heard screaming.

Her boyfriend screamed for everyone to get out of the home. Those three made it out through the front door, but the great grandmother and toddler were sleeping in another room and were trapped.

The 21-year-old woman told Region 8 News that she tried to shatter the bedroom window from outside to get the two victims out. When she did, it was already too late.

The 2-year-old was the woman's nephew. She said she even attempted to go back in the home to save them but the smoke was too much.

A friend and neighbor of one of the victims described the scene as unreal.

"I don't want to even look back there," Anita Eaton said. "I just can't look back there knowing that she lived there. They were just outside yesterday. The baby was out there playing, she was on the porch watching him."

Toys, blankets, and pieces of the house are scattered in the yard behind the yellow tape investigators placed around the property.

Community members drove by the home and noticed the family is left with nothing. Carolyn Timbs was one of those people willing to help, offering counseling, clothing, and anything else the family needs.

"Look here, you need us, there's loving people," Timbs said. "They'll jump in whenever they can help. You need us, we are here to help."

Timbs gave neighbors her contact information to hand off to family members.

Chief Michael Matlock said Arkansas State Police came in to help with the investigation. He said at this time they do not suspect arson.

The names of the victims have not been released. The fire is still under investigation.

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