Town Reacts To Deadly Fire - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/27/06-Hopkins County

Town Reacts To Deadly Fire

Roxanne Neal worked at the Country Village hair salon for two years. She quit in December to help take care of her grandbabies, while Misty was in basic training. Brenda Hallmark was a co-worker. She says Roxie would do anything for her family.

"They depended on her. She was like the rock. She'll be missed so much. It'll be hard for them to function in the right way again," Hallmark said.

Roxie's daughter, Misty went to school at Como-Pickton High School. Known to her friends as Pooh, she graduated in 1998, and worked as a cashier before deciding to enlist in the army.

Elaine Mund was a former teacher.  She said, "I was really proud of her. Sometimes they take different roads before they get to one that's going to take them through life.  It's good to see," Mund said.

Former teachers say she was always very responsible, and a delight to have in class.

"She was always positive. Always. Always happy. I just never saw her down," Mund said.

The family had been members at Pickton Baptist Tabernacle for over twenty years. Their pastor, David Peacock, was at the scene today, and talked to me about Brooklyn.

"She loved to sing, and loved singing with our children's choir. She would just get on stage and hold that mike, and make sure everyone could hear her," Peacock said.

Today, an accelerant sniffing dog found something. Investigators say they will send that evidence to a lab to see if it's what caused the fire. They say the house burned for a long time, before a passer by drove down this quiet road, and finally called for help. When the Como Fire Department arrived, the house was completely gone.

"I've been a fireman for about 20 years, and this is the worst one," said Investigator Steve Caudle.

Adjacent to the remains of the home is a U-Haul, loaded up with Misty's things. It's a reminder she and her family were supposed to move to Colorado the day of the fire, where she would begin her life as a U.S. Soldier. A dream she and her mother were very proud that will never come true.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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