Tragedy struck in Macon County on Sunday night, March 3, when four individuals perished in a residential structure fire at 2380 Cave Hollow Road.
Those pronounced dead were Robert Edward Solomon, 83; Barbara Ann Solomon, 72; Danny Charles Nash, 55, and Willa Alice Crockarell, 66, after their two-story brick & wood home burned to the ground. All four victims reside in Lafayette.
Neighbor Jason Bartley reported the blaze shortly after 7:00 p.m., while Danny Nash’s efforts to locate the family inside the dwelling, before the Lafayette firefighters arrived, led to his death.
Bartley stated when he reported the fire, only the sunroom was burning, but when the Lafayette Fire Department arrived fire was running throughout approximately 60% or more of the house.
“It didn’t take us but a few minutes to arrive,” said Chief Scruggs. “I know something traumatic happened very quick, because the flames were shooting into the air with over 60% of the structure involved.”
Scruggs says it was like it went from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes.
The home, which is located near the intersection of Galen Road and Frog Pond Road, was destroyed with the roof and top floor level all falling into the basement. Two vehicles were also destroyed. All four victims were recovered from inside the burning residence.
Chief Scruggs was in charge of the scene and he had twenty members of his squad on the site and six were on stand by. “We were on the scene for five hours,” the chief said.
The state’s bomb & arson investigator was at the scene Sunday night, and the state director came by the Lafayette Fire Station on Monday. “He is scheduled to return on Tuesday, along with a team to determine what caused the fire,” Chief Scruggs added.
The neighbors did all they could, but the tight knit community is devastated, according to Jason Bartley.
Those reporting to the fire: Lafayette, RBS, Willette, and Westmoreland Fire Departments, Macon County EMS, Macon County Sheriffs Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Coroner Steve Jones, Ambulance Director Randall Kirby, Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons, Tn. Bomb & Arson Investigator, and the Macon County Chronicle.
Funeral services for Robert and Barbara Solomon will be conducted Wednesday afternoon, March 6, at 2 p.m. from the chapel of the Alexander Funeral Home with Elder Chris Solomon and Brother Christopher officiating. They will be buried in the Macon County Memorial Gardens.
There will be no funeral services for Willa Alice Crockarell, of Lafayette.
Danny Nash will be laid to rest in the Liberty Cemetery, following funeral services on Thursday, March 7 at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Alexander Funeral Home, with Elder Jeff Likens and Elder Tom Carter officiating.