ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - An Elmore County woman faces the unenviable task of planning two funerals. The grim reality is beginning to close in on Arzell Day. She lost not only her house but the loves of her life in an overnight fire.
Day said she was at work when she got a call from a cousin telling her that her house was on fire late Tuesday night. She rushed home from her job in Montgomery to find firefighters already on scene.
The victims were found not long after the flames had been extinguished. Day’s father, Bail Freeney, 79, and son, Armon Day, 24, did not make it out of the blaze.
The fire ripped through the family’s mobile home on Polly Lane, just off Dozier Road in the Redland community around 11 p.m. The fire was so intense it burned everything in sight, all the way down to the wheel base of the mobile home.
Sheriff Bill Franklin said the Redland Road Volunteer Fire Department responded to the home but that it was already fully involved by the time they arrived.
A total of 25 firefighters responded to the blaze. Together, they represented the Wetumpka Fire Department, the Redland Volunteer Fire Department and Emerald Mountain Volunteer Fire Department
“It really ain’t hit me yet,” Arzell said as she walked the property Wednesday morning. ”I just don’t, I just can’t believe it. But every time I look over there, I know it’s true. But I still just don’t, it don’t seem right.”
Mr. Freeney, who recently suffered a stroke, made use of a wheelchair to get around. That same wheelchair, charred and burned beyond much recognition, was found on the ground near the front steps.
“My daddy, he told me yesterday, he was so nice, he told me he loved me, and I said I love you, too,” Day recalled. Now, he’s gone.
She said it appears her son tried to save her father but the flames were apparently too much. “Just couldn’t get up,” she said of him. “I believe the smoke got him.”
What blows Day’s mind is the fact she heard about the four people who died in the Montgomery house fire on Gibson Street earlier in the week, all while never realizing she, too, would get a similar call and now suffer that unspeakable grief.
“I was like no, this can’t be real,” she admitted.
The state fire marshal has launched an investigation to determine what caused the deadly fire.
Arzell Day, meantime, is planning two funerals, the first of many painful steps of ahead of saying goodbye.