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Returning to the scene of July 4 Lonoke Co. fire | News

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Returning to the scene of July 4 Lonoke Co. fire
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LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - We're following up on a July 4th fire that destroyed the home of 74-year-old Lonoke County woman. This was the fire that the sheriff's office says started by three people shooting fireworks in the area.

Gerleane Taylor says, number one, she's grateful to be alive because she got out of her house in the nick of time. But she's also still soaking in the loss of everything inside. Right now, she can't even get herself to take a look at the remains.

"Right there in that window, the edge of the couch is where I was, I was asleep," Taylor said.

But Gerleane Taylor would quickly awake after concerned neighbors rushed to her Lonoke County home July 4th.

"These people come and knocked on my door and said you better get out, there's a fire right there behind you," Taylor said.

It was a fast-moving fire that would ultimately destroy everything inside.

"Just what I had on, I never thought about getting anything else, they just said hurry and get out," Taylor said.  

It's a quick escape but the memory of that holiday is hard to escape.  

"It was just kind of like a wave, kind of like you see in the ocean, it was just coming in waves," Taylor said.

It left behind a charred kitchen with a loaf of white bread still sitting on the counter. And part of a book on the couch. It's a place to hardly call home.

"I don't even want to look in the window, don't even want to look in the window," Taylor said, walking outside the home.  

Taylor says she knows of the three people arrested for the fire that auhorities say was started by fireworks during a burn ban.

"That's what I can't figure out in my mind, I don't hate them, no I don't hate them, I hate what they did," Taylor said.

It's hard to grasp for the 74-year-old who's still got a good grasp on life despite all this.

"My life is worth more than you know the trailer, I'm just so thankful that I got out, if I hadn't got out when I did, you'd probably be coming to my funeral," Taylor said.    

Taylor is currently living in a camper nearby her home. She also says neighbors have come by to help her out with food, clothes and money.

She did tell us that the three suspects arrested for the fire did come by her home to say sorry but she wasn't there at the time. The three suspects are all family members facing criminal mischief charges. Authorities say the bonded out of jail after their arrest.

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