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Community Rallies Behind Centerton Family Who Lost Everything In House Fire

CENTERTON, Ark. (KFSM) — A family lost everything after a fire was intentionally started at their home in Centerton Sunday (Jan. 19) night. The suspected arsoni...

CENTERTON, Ark. (KFSM) — A family lost everything after a fire was intentionally started at their home in Centerton Sunday (Jan. 19) night.

The suspected arsonist was arrested just a few hours later more than 60 miles away in Greenwood.

“There were flames going everywhere, there were huge flames. The car was on fire. There were explosions that were happening,” neighbor Christi Mefford.

Mefford lives just a few houses down from where the fire was started. She says it was a very scary situation because at first, no one knew if anyone was inside the house.

“I’m just glad the family is safe. My heart really goes out to her, a single mom with three kids,” she said.

James Michael Evans was arrested in Greenwood just hours after he was accused of starting the fire, but the motive is still under investigation.

People have been coming to Lonesome Oak Storage in Centerton all day Monday (Jan. 20) dropping off clothes and household items for Tessa and her three children who lost everything in the fire. People have also been giving to the GoFundMe account started by her friends.

“As a mom with three girls myself who are all similar in ages to the kids she has, my heart broke for her," Cassie Leafgreen said. "I don’t know how I would start over just from nothing. So I hope she can get a blessing out of the donations she gets.”

Leafgreen is just one of the many who dropped off donations for Tessa’s family. She says it’s great to know so many people are willing to help.

“For those who lose hope in humanity, it’s really a reassurance that people are still really good at heart,” she said.