CONWAY COUNTY, Ark. – A family is mourning and in disbelief after a house fire claimed the lives of two people.
Two others were able to escape the flames
The early morning fire happened in Conway County on Bostain Lane.
“Very unexpected tragedy, and just still in shock today not knowing what caused, it what happened at all,” said Joseph Bell.
Bell’s ex-wife, 55-year-old, Darlene, and their 15-year-old grandson, Jacob were killed in the fire. Jacob had autism and was nonverbal.
Bell lives in Oregon but is still trying to process how this happened to his family.
“I’m in Oregon,” he said. “Very far away, feeling helpless.”
Flames still lingered at the house nearly 15 hours after it originally caught fire Tuesday morning.
An official with the Conway County Sheriff’s Office said Darlene originally escaped the fire with the two other family members who survived, but she went back in to try and save her grandson, Jacob. Neither came back out.
“She would have done anything for anyone, and today she did that,” Bell said. “She gave her life trying to save one more person.”
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the fire was accidental.
Officials believe it came from a heat lamp being used on the property for chickens.
Two people in the house survived: Bell’s daughter and another grandson.
“I just can’t wait to get there and get my arms around both of them,” Bell said.
Bell’s daughter, who survived the fire, said she is absolutely devastated from losing not only two family members but also her pets in the fire.
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed there is no investigation regarding the fire because evidence and a witness statement show it was accidental.