Midland Park Lane Blaze
Memorial funds set up by local banks in aftermath of deadly fire
by John A. Winter
Friends and family of the victims in Saturday's fatal fire that killed five people, including four children, are setting up accounts to help defray funeral costs and support the sole survivor.
Alonna McCrary, 28, two of her children and two stepchildren perished in the fire that broke out about 1 a.m. Saturday. The sole survivor, an 11-year-old daughter, escaped through a window with the help of a passerby.
Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday night at a candlelight vigil outside the residence at 4 Midland Park Lane off Belt Road and released balloons.
The bodies were taken to the state Crime Lab on Saturday to determine the exact cause of death. As of Monday, Newnan Police were still awaiting an answer, said Police Chief Buster Meadows. Three bodies were found in one room, and the other two in another room.
Besides the mother, Eriel McCrary, 5, Messiah White, 3, Nikia White, 2, and MaKinzie Florence, 1, also died. Eriel and Nikia were daughters of McCrary and the other two were stepdaughters. Eleven-year-old Nautica "Molly" McCrary was taken to the hospital after the accident, but was back at the residence later Saturday.
The Alonna McCrary Memorial Fund has been set up through Wells Fargo, according to lead teller Gloria Wilson.
"Donations may be dropped off at any Wells Fargo branch," she said, adding the funds wil be used to help the family expenses.
Another fund, to cover the funeral expenses for one-year-old MaKinzie, was set up at United Bank, 61 Bullsboro Drive, according to President Steve Stripling.
Molly McCrary said in an interview with The Newnan Times-Herald that she woke up and was unable to breath. She went to find her mother but she was not in her room. Molly said her mother was outside and came back in, but Molly never saw her again. Molly escaped through a window.
The state fire marshal determined the fire started in a breaker box and was electrical in nature, authorities said. The house was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived.
The children were staying for a sleepoever, according to relatives.
There have been no recent fire fatalities in the city of Newnan, however, two people have died in separate fires in Coweta County.