Officials ID victim in fatal Noonday fire - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Officials ID victim in fatal Noonday fire


It could take days for investigators to figure out how a fire started that killed a woman Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 3:00 p.m. off of County Road 1110 at the Westberry Landing and RV Park in Flint. 

Smith County Fire Marshal Oren Hale said 47-year-old Jody Jennings, and her dog, were inside her mobile home at the time of the fire. Unfortunately, neither one of them were able to escape. 

The property owner, James Westberry lives across the street from the mobile home that burned. He said he was having an Easter cookout when a few guys who were playing basketball in his driveway saw the flames. 

Westberry said the boys ran inside to call 911, but when Devonta Wheeler learned a woman might be trapped inside the home, he tried to help. 

"I grabbed a brick and I tried to knock down, bust down the window," Wheeler said. He then unlocked the door and started yelling, but no one responded when he called. 

"There was nothing we could do with that trailer because it was so engulfed. These boys helped me go get water hoses and hose down the trailer next door," Westberry explained. 

"Due to the makeup of an RV like this, the smoke is extremely toxic and will overcome someone very quickly," Hale explained. 

Westberry said the woman had only lived in the neighborhood for ten days before the fire took her life. As the investigation continues, firefighters want to know what started the fire and what kept the woman from escaping. 

Smith County Fire Marshal Oren Hale says he believes the fire started because of a mechanical failure with the electrical system on the RV.

Monday would have been Jennings' forty-eight birthday. Hale says she lived at the location just 10 days before dying in the fire.

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