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Family Members Mourn Loss of Paris Grandmother in Deadly Fire

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn.- The family of the grandmother who was killed in a fire north of Paris, are reaching out to thank the two men responsible for trying to save her.

Henry county deputies said Patsy Evans, 66, died after running back into her home to put out a fire, Sunday.

Loved ones told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that Evans was outside talking with her disabled son, John Neal, when the two noticed a small flame through the window. According to Neal, his mother ran in to put out the flames. When she didn't return, Neal who is confined to a wheelchair said he tried crawling up the stairs to the front door after her.

"It took off so fast I just started screaming I couldn't get in there," Neal said.

Family members said Evan's next door neighbor, Robert Jackson, heard screams and ran inside of the home. Jackson pulled Evans near the exit.

"He busted in the back door and he seen her at the back door," said Evans' daughter, Mandy Evans. "He pulls on her and pulls as far as he can pull her."

Family members said the smoke overcame him, so he left to go back outside for air. Officials said that's when passerby Kevin Miles stopped his car, ran in and dragged Evans outside. Firefighters with Paris fire department arrived as Miles was giving Evans CPR. Officials said she was later pronounced dead on the scene.

"My mamma is a brave woman she tried to save what she had you know that's all she had was this home," Mandy Evans said.

Loved ones said even though her injuries were fatal, they consider the actions of Jackson and Miles to be heroic.

"Very courageous, very courageous. I want to say thank you so much, thank you so much." Mandy Evans said.

"Yea we're going to have a funeral and we can now have an open casket and everything," said Neal. " That's what she would have wanted."

The damage is estimated to be more than $75,000. Loved ones said Evans did not have insurance. Evans said she is in the process of raising money to fund her mother's burial. If you would like to help a fund has been set up at McEvoy Funeral Home in Paris.

Deputies said they believe the fire was started by a space heater setting too close to curtains.


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