Families of fire victims need aid

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Today, Latoya Brown will bury her little girl, Messi’ah White. 

White, 3, was one of four sisters who died in a fire early Saturday. 

While Brown is going through the hardest time in her life, she’s also having to worry about paying for her daughter’s funeral. “We are having ongoing needs until I am able to return to work,” Brown said on Thursday. “Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

White’s funeral is today at 2:30 at St. Smyrna Baptist Church. Burial will be in Eastview Cemetery and the repast will follow at Poplar Road Special Events Center. 

The funeral for MaKinzie Florence, 1, was held Thursday, and she was also buried in Eastview. 

Services for the other three victims of the fire, Alonna McCrary and her daughters, Erial McCrary and Nikkiah White, will be Saturday at noon at St. Smyrna Baptist Church. Burial will be in Sunset Cemetery in Newnan. A meal will be held at the Bennett home in the Greentop community. Sellers-Smith Funeral Home is handling arrangements and the family will receive friends at the funeral home tonight from 6-8 p.m.

Memorial accounts for all three families have been set up at local banks. The Messi’ah White Memorial Fund and the Alonna McCray Memorial Fund are at Wells-Fargo.Donations may be made at any Wells-Fargo branch. The Shannon Arnold for McKinzie Florence Fund is at United Bank, 61 Bullsboro Drive. 

“In the hardest moment of our lives, I am very grateful for the outpouring of encouragement from the community,” said Brown on Thursday. But she wanted people who are able to know that she does need their help.

Brown said Messi’ah had only been at McCrary’s house about three hours when the fatal fire began. McCrary was Messi’ah’s father’s girlfriend, Brown said, and she was having a sleepover for the sisters. 

Eleven-year-old Nautica “Molly” McCrary was the sole survivor of the fire at 4 Midland Park Lane.

“As a young single mother raising two girls I never thought of having to bury my child,” Brown said. 

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