One dead in Jonesboro nursing home fire

JONESBORO, AR (WMC-TV) - One person died in a blaze Tuesday night at a retirement home in Jonesboro.

When firefighters arrived at the Rosehaven Retirement Home around 9:00pm Tuesday, flames already consumed the walls, and three people were trapped inside.

Firefighters were able to break out windows to rescue two of the people, but the flames were too intense to rescue the third.

"Everyone wishes they could have been the one who got in there (and) made it to her," Fire Marshall Craig Davenport said.

With 25 residents at the home, the death toll could have been much higher.  Many of the residents at the home have trouble walking.  But that didn't give firefighters much comfort.

"It's always better if you can get everyone out," Davenport said.  "Thankful most got out - wish we could have gotten them all out."

Elsie Oldham, whose sister was rescued, was grateful for the efforts of firefighters.

"It's incredible anyone got out," she said.  "They saved her life by pulling her out of a the window."

Survivors were taken to stay with family members, or in some cases, another retirement home.  Many were getting ready for bed when the fire broke out, and even left without their shoes.

"They got out with nothing," said Mary Hester, who owned the home. "Have to help them get back on their feet."

Authorities say the fire likely started in the home's laundry area. It quickly spread to the roof before it could be contained.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the blaze.

The name of the victim who died has not been released.

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