Family Members Pick Up The Pieces After Fire

Published 03/18 2014 11:02PM

Updated 03/18 2014 11:09PM

One day after a fire claims the lives of three people, family and friends of the victims return to the crime scene. We hear their side of the story.

The day after tragedy, Barbara Lankford, picks up the pieces. "I'm going to salvage what I can," says Lankford. An arson leaves her father and two others dead, four injured, two in the hospital, and one man in custody. The fire leaves family and friends rummaging through the ash and rubble. "There's not a lot we can save, but there is a little bit that we can save," says Lankford.

76 year old, Donald Lankford, was one of the three victims who lost their lives in house fire, that officials say, was an act of arson. His daughter, Barbara, is able to find her father's picture that the flames didn't claim. "That's my dad."

Through a second story window she searches. She's able to find picture albums and several boxes of cards to keep his memories alive. "I got to save some pictures, and there is some salvaged stuff up there. That's from when my kids were babies and stuff like that. I thought I lost it," says Lankford.

"This is the window they jumped from. That is the bed the girl was on right there."

Among the lives lost were 28 year old, Keri Jones. Jones was the mother of three year old twins. Jazmine did not make it, but Barbara says her son was able to save the other baby. "He saved one of the twins life," says Lankford.

She says her son Dustin lived with his grandfather Donald, on the second floor. He was able to save one child before jumping to safety. "He turned around to reach for my cousin, and the other ones, and the smoke had got them. My dad just sat in the kitchen," says Lankford.

The flames were no accident. The suspect is Christopher Compton. Compton is in custody facing three counts of murder and four counts of arson. Barbara Lankford says Compton was no stranger to the family. She says Compton had just left the apartment where all three victims, Donald, Keri, and her young twins were. Lankford says forty five minutes later, the blaze was set and tragedy followed.

Family members say they plan to hold a vigil at the home Friday night on 29 West Franklin street.

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