The City of Marianna is somber as the community mourns the victims of a devastating house fire. Wednesday morning Marianna Fire and Rescue responded to a fully involved fire that took the lives of four people and displaced eleven.
People close to the family describe the incident as a great loss to the city and county. Marianna Fire and Rescue received a call at 8 A.M. yesterday to 4472 Jackson Street. According to Fire Chief Nikki Lovett it only took two minutes until they arrived on scene, but the fire had already grown to be too aggressive.
According to the Marianna Police Department there was a total of thirteen people in the home, six were children. According to Lovett the children fled when they heard the fire alarm but four adults were trapped inside.
The wooden structure was overtaken with flames and ultimately took the lives of; Gertrude Pete 68, Sarah Johnson 85, Ruth Pete 95, and Cynthia Pete 46. The Red Cross is providing seven people with a hotel for five nights; and eleven people with food and clothing.
According to Fire Chief Lovett, the Pete and Johnson families are loved by the Marianna community, "Everybody knows someone from this family in this community because they are such a large family. We are really going to miss them; you are talking about three different generations, the great grandmother, the grandmother and one of the mothers. We are clinging to our faith right now. We need a lot of prayers for this community to heal."
If you would like to donate to the families in need, Regions Bank has set up an account called the Pate Fire Fund. A donation drop off location for food and clothing is 4169 Old Cottondale Rd Marianna, FL 32448. Children and adults in need of clothing range in sizes S-XL.