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Fire Victim's Girlfriend Speaks

By Meghan Pinkley
By mpinkley@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - 7 Eyewitness News had an exclusive interview with a survivor of the deadly fire at a group home in Beech Bluff. Though she survived Tuesday's fire, she said her boyfriend did not make it out alive.

It is a day Cynthia Chandler will never forget. "I want him to believe alive so bad." Chandler was a resident at Jackson Independent Living, and she claims it was her boyfriend, Jimmy Wayne Brown, 62, who did not make it out. "I said what can we do, we have to save him!"

Chandler admitted the day did not start out good for her and her boyfriend. "Well, we got along perfect until yesterday," said Chandler. A disagreement between the couple was the last conversation Chandler had with Brown before the blaze engulfed their home, but despite the argument Chandler said he knew that she cared about him and he cared about her. She added that the moment she began to worry was when she saw flames coming out from her boyfriend's bedroom, and where investigators believe the fire started.

Those who lived in the housing facility lost everything. Numerous nursing homes in West Tennessee have taken in residents; including Forest Cove Nursing Center, where Chandler is staying. Now, Chandler treasures the moments she was able to spend with her boyfriend.

"He'd bring me tea, he brought me some lemon drops and stuff like that," said Chandler.