FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Martell Jones had trouble finding the words to express the pain he felt after finding out his close cousin and her two children were killed inside a house fire on Portsmouth Drive in Fayetteville early Wednesday morning.
“My mom called me crying early this morning and told me what happened. I rushed and came right on here. I was one of the first family members to get here,” explained Jones.
Other family members arrived one after another. All heartbroken.
Jones described the family as close. He identified the mother who was killed as Amelia Jones.
“I see her all the time. When she was first born, her mom put her in my arms. She’s like my daughter really,” he continued.
The fire started just after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. Family says seven people were inside the home when the fire happened.
Three people made it out safe, another person was transported to the hospital. Amelia Jones and her two boys did not.
“My grandfather said is was kerosene heater and he tried to put it out but it spread so fast and so quick that it burned the back of his neck. Her husband got out and pushed the air conditioner through. He tried to get him out also, but he tried to save them,” explained Jones.
When fire crews arrived on scene, the flames and smoke were heavy. The hole in the roof and the damage to the back of the home showed how extensive the fire was.
Fayetteville Fire Marshal T.J. McLamb said it took crews 45 minutes to get the fire under control. Nine trucks and 25 firefighters responded.
“Anytime we lose a life it’s very difficult. We see this as a failure on our part. In 2019, we had zero fire fatalities. So this is very difficult for us,” said McLamb.
It’s also taken a toll on this family who is dealing what will be difficult days ahead.
“It’s going to be tough. Real tough,” said Jones.
Fayetteville Fire hasn’t determined a cause yet and the fire remains under investigation.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal, SBI and the ATF have been called in to assist.
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