Neighbors Talk About Fatal House Fire

When Greg Pass saw a fire burning down a two story home at the front of Mabry's Red Barn RV Park, he tried to enter the structure.

"We tried to break through a wall and get through," Pass said. "But the smoke was, it was just too much."

Other neighbors at the Highway 49 park felt just as helpless as they watched Tuesday night's fire turn a home into ashes. "I felt awful," Mary Seay said, with tears rushing down her cheek. "I mean to stand there and watch people die like that."

A Gulfport firefighter who battled the overnight blaze spent some of his off time back at the fire scene. He said he "just wanted to come out and take a look."

Despite the efforts of neighbors, and several fire departments, Darryl Cuevas and his 17-month-old son couldn't escape the burning building. Neither could their 93-year-old, wheelchair-bound landlord Jimmie Mabry. "She was a very sweet lady," Hilda Barnes said.

Barnes and her husband were close friends of Mrs. Mabry. They served as executors of Mabry's RV park. "I was just very, very shocked and very sad," Barnes said, "because we had worked real hard at helping them to start building the place back up again."

This wasn't the first time the Mabrys have dealt with the devastating emotions of family tragedy. Friends said Mrs. Mabry's daughter, son-in-law, and three of her grandchildren all died during Hurricane Camille. Shortly after that tragedy, the Mabry's moved to Lyman and opened the RV park.

"They built this so that Jimmy their son, cerebral palsy son, could have a place and have an income in his later life," Barnes said.

The son Jimmy was back at the RV park a few hours after the fire. He came to pick up some clean clothes. Jimmy told WLOX News that with the help of the Barnes family, he'll rebuild the park, because that's what his mother would want.

The Cuevas family has set up a benefit account at Hancock Bank.