Community assisting family who lost everything in fire

Community assisting family who lost everything in fire
A Cherry Valley area family recently lost its home in a house fire, with friends and neighbors working to help them out in their time of need. (Source: WREG-TV)

CHERRY VALLEY, AR (KAIT/WREG) - A fire earlier this week destroyed a family’s home in Cross County. Now their friends and neighbors are helping them in their time of need.

According to a report from Memphis television station WREG, eight members of the family were able to escape from the Feb. 18 fire.

Allen Cantrell, who was able to get out, told the station the situation was terrifying.

“My 12-year-old, she woke me up at around 4 o’clock in the morning screaming she could not breathe. We jump out of bed and all you could see is flames and smoke,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell tried to find a window as the fire moved.

Once he found a window, he said he started “throwing kids out of it.”

The next goal was to get Walter and Dorothy Jackson out of the house. Cantrell said the 75-year-old couple was nervous but he worked to rescue them.

“And as we (were) getting them out, the house started falling while they was still in the window. I mean, it was just horrible,” Cantrell told WREG.

The family has received clothing donations and help from Candace Parnell.

Parnell, who has known the family for over a decade, is a manager at the nearby Tobacco Superstore in Harrisburg.

“I have been here almost 14 years, so they’ve been customers for a very long time,” Parnell said.

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