Midland Park Lane Fire

McCrary remembered as loving person

by W. Winston Skinner


Jeffrey Leo

A man comforts a young boy during a candlelight vigil Saturday evening in front of the Midland Park Lane residence where a fire killed a woman, her two children and two stepchildren. Over 250 attended the memorial as those attending prayed, sang songs and comforted each other.

Alonna McCrary was a loving person who lost her life Saturday going back into her burning home to try and save her children and stepchildren.

“She was a nice person. She was a real nice person,” said Phyllis Brownlee, who lives in a house behind the Midland Park Lane residence that burned early Saturday.

“That was my heart. That was my soul,” said Roxanne Arnold. Arnold was McCrary’s aunt, but she said their relationship was more like that of sisters.

“One of my daughter’s friends called her” Saturday morning, Arnold said, and her daughter then told her about the fatal fire.

Arnold smiled as she remembered Alonna McCrary. 

“She would aggravate me,” Arnold said with a chuckle.

“She would text me and tell me she loves me. That’s what I’m going to miss the most,” Arnold said. 

Neighbors gathered along the street near the home, where McCrary and her family had lived for about two-and-a-half months. People stood in groups and conversed in quiet tones – an atmosphere of sadness surrounding them.

Brownlee talked about the youngsters who lost their lives at McCrary’s home. “I’d see them out here in the yard playing all the time,” she said.

Molly McCrary, 11, the only person in the Midland Park Lane home who survived Saturday’s blaze, was nearby. At times, she stood about a block from the gutted home with supporters from Evans Middle School, where she is a student.

She said she woke up and couldn’t breathe. She tried to find her mom but she wasn’t in her room. A passerby helped pull Molly through a window.

Later, she joined other mourners in a white van. In addition to her school activities, Molly McCrary is a praise dancer at Greater Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.

Molly said two of the other children at home were her siblings, and two others were her mother’s stepchildren. “We were having a sleepover,” she said.

Alonna McCrary worked at Dongwon Autopart Technology, a Korean-owned plant near Lone Oak in Meriwether County, and worked every other weekend. Her stepchildren frequently visited on the weekends when she was not working.

She also had two other children – one of whom lived with a grandmother and another who was not at home Friday night.

Brownlee said she was not at home when the fire began, but her daughter was at home and initially thought there was a fight taking place in the neighborhood. “They (the firefighters) were trying to break down the door and break the windows,” she said.

Roxanne Arnold said Alonna McCrary’s children have lots of relatives and have family who will care for them and love them.


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