Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lose Of 5 Young Girls



Fire Kills Five Girls In Bentonville

Tue. Mar 25th 2008
By Richard Dean Prudenti

The Morning News

BENTONVILLE - Five sisters who slept together on the second floor of their Bentonville home died together in a fire early Tuesday morning.

The girls parents' Jamie Dale Frazier, 33, and Karry A. Mahmens Frazier, 27, were downstairs and escaped without injury after a smoke detector alerted them to fire and smoke at 402 S.W. "B" St. about 1:22 a.m.

By the time Bentonville firefighters reached the house at 1:24 a.m., the couple's five children were dead. Police identified them as Kristan Frazier, 13; Kimberly Frazier, 11; Katelyn Mahmens, 9; Kaila Frazier, 8; and Kiya Frazier, 5.

"This is the nightmare firefighters dread," said Bentonville Fire Chief Dan White, noting 44 Bentonville personnel along with some Rogers firefighters responded to the scene.

Firefighters arrived and found the fire making its way from the second floor down a narrow stairwell, which was the only access to the second floor except for a small window that would have been difficult for person to get through, White said.

All of the children were in "sleeping positions" in a room where two of them were lying on twin beds side by side and three of them were on the floor, White said.

"They were exposed to the smoke for too long," he said.

Investigators sent a portable electric heater to the state Crime Laboratory, said Bentonville Police Chief James Allen.

"It looks like this is accidental based on the space heater," which was between the beds and the wall on the south side of the house, Allen said. He said autopsies at the medical examiner's office in Little Rock will help determine causes of death.

The parents were distraught when firefighters arrived, Allen said. "Apparently the dad tried to go back upstairs even after the fire department got there," he said.

Police also are investigating the presence of drug paraphernalia and small amounts of what they believe to be methamphetamine and marijuana in the house. There were no signs that methamphetamine was being manufactured in the house, and neither parent was tested for drug use, Allen said.

The Fraziers had lived in Bentonville for several years and the children had been in the public schools for some time, said Superintendent Gary Compton.

Compton said teachers and principals were reeling Tuesday from the loss of five students.

"It's always a really sad day when somebody young loses their lives. The schools are struggling," Compton said.

He and school administrators met with principals at Lincoln Junior High School, Ruth Hale Barker Middle School and Sugar Creek Elementary School on Tuesday morning to help those schools' staffs handle their emotions and determine what to tell students.

An Arvest Bank account has been set up for the Frazier family to help pay for the children's burials, said Carol Martin, a friend of the children's grandmother, Kathy Mahmens. For more information, call Arvest at 271-1253.

The Morning News' Lana Flowers contributed to this report.

Kaila Ann Frazier
2000 - 2008

Kiya ReAnn Frazier
2002 - 2008

The Morning News, pg 4a

Springdale,AR
March 28,2008

BENTONVILLE - Kaila Anne Frazier, 8, of Bentonville passed away March 25, 2008, at her home.
She was born March 13, 2000, in Springdale. She attended Sugar Creek Elementary School where she was in the first grade. She was an independent spirit that enjoyed making people laugh, "looking pretty" and watching Hannah Montana. She is survived by her parents, Jamie Dale Frazier and Karry Mahmens Frazier of Bentonville and Sarah Lee Pitts-Frazier and Alan Jay Woodworth; one brother, Johnathan Anthony Newton of Garfield; grandparents, Bill and Judy Bargay of Seligman, Mo., Bob and Kathy Mahmens of Bentonville and great-grandmother, Dorothy Smith of Pea Ridge. She is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 30 at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, www.mem.com. Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, March 31 at Word of Life Fellowship, 808 S.W. 14th St., Bentonville. Burial will be in Union Chapel Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to the family, c/o Rollins Funeral Home, 1401 Hudson Road, Rogers, 72756.

*****
The Morning News, Pg 4A

March 28,2008
Springdale,AR

BENTONVILLE - Kiya Reann Frazier, 5, of Bentonville passed away March 25, 2008, at her home.
She was born April 20, 2002, in Rogers. She was a kindergarten student at Sugar Creek Elementary where she was excited about being "in school." She was cute and adorable and loved being with her big sisters.
She is survived by her parents, Jamie Dale Frazier and Karry Mahmens Frazier of Bentonville and Sarah Lee Pitts-Frazier and Alan Jay Woodworth; one brother, Johnathan Anthony Newton of Garfield; grandparents, Bill and Judy Bargay of Seligman, Mo., Bob and Kathy Mahmens of Bentonville; great-grandmother, Dorothy Smith of Pea Ridge. She is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 30 at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, www.mem.com. Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, March 31 at Word of Life Fellowship, 808 S.W. 14th St., Bentonville. Burial will be in Union Chapel Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family, c/o Rollins Funeral Home, 1401 Hudson Road, Rogers, 72756.

Katelyn Deann Mahmens Frazier
1998 - 2008

The Morning News, pg 4A

Springdale,AR
March 28,2008

Katelyn Deann Mahmens, 9, of Bentonville passed away March 25, 2008, at her home.
She was born Nov. 12, 1998, at Rogers. She was a third-grade student at Sugar Creek Elementary School in Bentonville. She enjoyed singing, dancing and cooking with her mom and grandmother. She is survived by her father, Randen Daniel Harmon of Garfield; parents, Karry Mahmens Frazier and Jamie Dale Frazier of Bentonville; parents, Sarah Lee Pitts-Frazier and Alan Jay Woodworth; three brothers, Johnathan Anthony Newton, Robson Harmen and Raven Harmen, all of Garfield; grandparents, Bill and Judy Bargay of Seligman, Mo., Bob and Kathy Mahmens of Bentonville and Bob and Noreen Harmon of Bentonville and great-grandmother, Dorothy Smith of Pea Ridge; and cousin, Loren Harmen. She is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, www.mem.com. Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, March 31 at Word of Life Fellowship, 808 S.W. 14th St., Bentonville. Burial will be in Union Chapel Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family, c/o Rollins Funeral Home, 1401 Hudson Road, Rogers, 72756.

Kimberly Dawn Frazier
1996 - 2008

The Morning News, pg 4A

March 28,2008
Springdale,AR

BENTONVILLE - Kimberly Dawn Frazier, 11, of Bentonville passed away March 25, 2008, at her home.
She was born Dec. 8, 1996, in Springdale. She attended Ruth Hale Barker Middle School in Bentonville where she was an honor roll student and was in the choir. She enjoyed dancing and watching "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana." She is survived by her mother, Sarah Lee Pitts-Frazier and husband Alan Jay Woodworth; her father, Jamie Dale Frazier and Karry Mahmens Frazier of Bentonville; one brother, Jonathan Anthony Newton of Garfield; grandparents, Bill and Judy Bargay of Seligman, Mo., Bob and Kathy Mahmens of Bentonville and great-grandmother, Dorothy Smith of Pea Ridge. She is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 30 at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, www.mem.com. Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, March 31, at Word of Life Fellowship, 808 S.W. 14th St., Bentonville. Burial will be in Union Chapel Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family, c/o Rollins Funeral Home, 1401 Hudson Road, Rogers, 72756.
 
Kristan Rena Frazier
1994 - 2008

The Morning News, pg 4a

Springdale,AR
March 28,2008

BENTONVILLE - Kristan Rena Frazier, 13, of Bentonville passed away March 25, 2008, at her home.
She was born Oct. 22, 1994, in Rogers. She attended Lincoln Junior High School in Bentonville where she played trombone in the band. She enjoyed reading, drawing and especially spending time with her friends.
She is survived by her mother, Sarah Lee Pitts-Frazier and husband Alan Jay Woodworth; her father, Jamie Dale Frazier and Karry Mahmens Frazier of Bentonville; one brother, Johnathan Anthony Newton of Garfield; grandparents, Bill and Judy Bargay of Seligman, Mo., Bob and Kathy Mahmens of Bentonville and great-grandmother, Dorothy Smith of Pea Ridge. She is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 30 at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers. Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, March 31 at Word of Life Fellowship, 808 S.W. 14th St., Bentonville. Burial will be in Union Chapel Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family, c/o Rollins Funeral Home, 1401 Hudson Road, Rogers, 72756.

Hush Listen can you hear the singing, the merry little tone?
She's skipping with her sisters, so glad to be at home.
She is not far away at all, but close enough to hear
Her laughter and her happy voice, ringing out so clear.

She calls out to her siblings to sing a different song.
And they respond so merrily, laughing and dancing along.
They stop to pick some violets still fresh from silvery dew
and watch some pretty butterflies come softly into view.

She sings of home and shelter, of laughter and of love
And of the joy that bubbles up with each note that's sung
She's wearing her new Easter dress, the one her grandma gave
And she turns, if you could see, to give a little wave.

Sweet Katie, Who is at home again, A bright angelic song
Freed from Earth's temptations, her temple is now whole.
She sings the songs of Angels, Glorious and sweet
They stoop to pick the rosebuds that glisten at her feet.

By Alin Mae Harmon
March 28, 2008

Bad Wiring Caused Fatal Fire, Prosecutor Says

Parents of Five Deceased Children Arrested On Drug Charges
Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:27 PM CDT in News

By Robin Mero
The Morning News

BENTONVILLE - Substandard, faulty wiring in a decrepit Bentonville home caused a March fire that killed five girls ages five to 13 as they slept in an upstairs bedroom, Benton County Prosecutor Van Stone said Thursday.

The girls' parents are not criminally negligent in the deaths, despite testing positive for marijuana use and apparently being intoxicated, Stone said.

The girls died quickly from smoke and soot inhalation, Stone said he was told by the medical examiner.

"There was really no hope for the girls upstairs," Stone said. "The parents being drunk did not contribute to the children's deaths."

Jamie Frazier, 33, and wife Karry Mahmens, 27, will be charged in Circuit Court with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, he said. They will be arraigned Sept. 15 before Senior Circuit Judge Tom Keith.

Frazier and Mahmens were found naked and distraught in the street in front of the 402 S.W. "B" St. home when firefighters arrived at 1:24 a.m. March 25, and officials said they smelled strongly of alcohol, had blurred speech and were stumbling.

Their drug and alcohol use likely contributed to deplorable conditions in the home, Stone said, and they will probably be ordered to complete the county drug court program.

Defense attorney Brad Karren said Thursday the couple's blood alcohol was not tested, so officials gave only an opinion about their intoxication. A drug test administered hours after the fire revealed both recently had used marijuana.

"The Fraziers understand there's some need for treatment, and I think they would agree this is best for the community and themselves," Karren said.

Jamie Frazier has been convicted of many misdemeanors, including driving while intoxicated with children in his vehicle, possessing marijuana and 13 counts of driving on a suspended license. Mahmens was arrested for driving while intoxicated less than three weeks ago.

The family had a rent-to-own contract on the two-story home with landlord Mike Bedford.

The state Department of Health and Human Services investigated the family's living situation in 2004, after the youngest child - then 18 months - was found wandering outside in freezing temperatures without pants or shoes. That department has declined to release any information, but police reports indicate concern about supervision, hygiene and lack of water and heat in the home.

Many walls and ceilings in the house had no wallboard or insulation, police said in a probable cause affidavit after the fire. The kitchen was particularly filthy, with mouse droppings, molded food and rodent nests in cabinets and drawers. The refrigerator was empty, and the only edible food was canned.

After the fire, a partially-eaten can of pork and beans, with a spoon inside, was found between two of the girls' bodies upstairs.

Dirty clothing was piled two feet high in the laundry room and scattered throughout the downstairs living area were a smoking pipe and bong, a partially-burned marijuana cigarette, a grinder and a plastic bag with marijuana residue, the affidavit said.

The night before the fire, Frazier put Kristan, 13, Kimberly, 11, Katelyn, 9, Kaila, 8, and Kiya, 5, to bed about 9 p.m. in an upstairs room with two twin beds. He turned on a radiator-style space heater and closed the door, he said in a fire department interview.

The girls slept in their clothes, and the beds had no sheets or blankets, according to the report. Kaila slept on the floor, surrounded by end tables, a dollhouse, television set and video games, Frazier said.

Frazier and Mahmens woke about 1:22 a.m. to a smoke detector sounding in their bedroom and a carbon monoxide monitor emitting beeps and a voice warning. Smoke filled the room halfway from ceiling to floor.

They escaped without injury, but Frazier tried unsuccessfully to go back inside and rescue the girls.

When firefighters arrived, flames were spreading from the second floor down a narrow stairwell.

Fire officials initially suspected the space heater as a cause, but the report pinpoints faulty attic wiring on the home's west side that served the outlet used by the space heater.

The wires overheated, igniting insulation and wood, determined Lt. James Birchfield, the fire inspector.

Many bare wires were found in the attic, and the parents told fire officials that a relative had been doing electrical work there.

Karren confirmed he had spoken with the parents about possible legal action against the space heater manufacturer but hadn't seen the Bentonville Fire Department investigation report as of Thursday afternoon.

The Office of Human Concern had been to the house several times to assist the family, including installing three working smoke detectors upstairs, and more downstairs, in the summer of 2007. The batteries were good until 2011. Other employees visited the home in December 2007, noting the detectors were in place.

After the fire, firefighters found two detectors in place upstairs, but two of three batteries were missing in each. Stone said the girls may have removed them for use in their toys, since toys holding the same size batteries were found in the room.

Stone said Frazier and Mahmens will be the first misdemeanor participants in the county's drug court, and, if they fail to complete the program, could be sentenced up to a year in jail.

Mahmens turned herself in to the Bentonville Police Department to be cited and released Thursday evening, Karren said.

Frazier had been jailed Monday during a court appearance for a 2004 conviction on several misdemeanor charges - hot checks, driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance and several counts of felony failure to appear. He hasn't paid $1,055 in fines and Keith jailed him for 26 days in exchange for that obligation.

Mahmens was arrested July 19 for driving while intoxicated. She was released two days later from the Benton County Jail. The couple is living in Decatur, according to court documents.
*************

Family Continues To Mourn Children's Deaths

March 2008 Fire Took Five Girls' Lives
March 24, 2009

By Richard Dean Prudenti
THE MORNING NEWS
Springdale, AR

BENTONVILLE -- People one day will hear laughter of youth on the site where an early morning blaze last year destroyed a home and took the lives of five children.

Habitat for Humanity of Benton County wants to build a new home at 402 S.W. "B" St. so a family with children can live there and honor the memory of the Frazier family children who died from smoke and soot inhalation March 25.

The fire killed Kristan, 13, Kimberly, 11, Katelyn Mahmens, 9, Kaila, 8, and Kiya, 5, who were asleep in their upstairs bedroom.

"It's going to be a tender time when kids play in the backyard and life resumes on that property," said Debby Wieneke, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Benton County.

Wieneke hopes for a swingset in the backyard to "bring more laughter to a place that has had a lot of tears," she said.

The organization would like to begin building a 1,200-square-foot home on the 80-foot by 110-foot lot this spring, depending on sponsorship. The organization paid $15,000 for the lot that was valued at $29,000. The former property owner, Mike Bedford, had rented the house to the Frazier family.

"He said he wanted to do whatever he could to turn such a tragedy into a positive," Wieneke said.

Tom Smith, owner of Roll Off Service, and Pat Adams with Adams Excavation donated their services in December, so the property is now cleared and ready for a new house.

"It would be nice to see the property with flowers again -- with kids laughing and playing. That would be nice," said Leon Fletcher, a family friend who attends Word of Life Fellowship where the family went to church.

Bobbie Fletcher, his wife, and children's pastor at the church, continues to pray for the family, especially the parents -- Jamie Frazier and Karry Mahmens -- who escaped the fire from their downstairs bedroom, where the fire alarm worked. The upstairs fire alarm had no battery. Fire prevented the couple from attempting to rescue the children. The children died in their sleep, according to the medical examiner's report.

The Fletchers said the parents have good and bad days and know they can count on them for support.

"I talk with them every couple weeks. We try to focus on the happy times -- whatever makes us laugh," Bobbie Fletcher said.

The parents still live in Northwest Arkansas but outside of Bentonville.

The family speaks infrequently about the fire. The children's maternal grandmother, Kathy Mahmens, said the parents still need time to reach the point where emotionally they can talk about their children's deaths.

"We are never going to get over this," she said.

"Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about them," she said. "Those little girls -- they were beautiful little girls. Bright. The community has really lost out on those little girls."

Talking about it hurts a lot, said the children's aunt, Cindy Tresler of Pea Ridge.
"My brother (Jamie) has told me sometimes he doesn't really want to live. He has to, of course. He has no choice. Emotionally, they are both still very fragile," Tresler said.

Jamie has a son from another marriage, and they all spend a lot of time together. The parents also take comfort in being around other people's children. "I thought that might be hard for them for awhile," Tresler said.

Tresler is able to keep pictures of the children on her wall.

"At first, I didn't think I was going to make it through. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. But we keep on going. They are in our thoughts every day," Tresler said.

Easter is approaching, which makes things difficult because the last time she saw the family was during Easter, two days before the tragic fire.

"So right now is a rough time," she said.

More than a week ago, she brought five baskets with grass and eggs to the girls' resting place at Union Chapel Cemetery in Garfield.

"I want them to know that I'm thinking about them, and that I miss them so much," she said.

8 comments:

  1. Such a terrible tragedy that no words can describe.........
    Love and Blessings to those little girls

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  2. In just a few weeks it will be 4 years. Hard to believe it's been that long. Still think of them every day....always will...and still pray and love Jamie & Karry...and again, always will. Can't wait to see them again in Heaven...I'm sure they'll meet us at the gate with big smiles and ready for hugs.
    <3 Leon & Bobbie

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  3. I was BEST friends with Kaitlyn Mahmens....when i found out about her death i was only in 3rd grade. i even remeber her how sweet, nice, and optimistic she was. she will never change i i will always miss her for that. - love your best friend Issy

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  4. I was a neighbor and a bestfriend to these girls I miss them but know they are in a better place...watching their house burn down and hearing firefighters say that there was no hope for the girls, I could hear and feel my heart break, they will always have a place in my shattered heart. Ill miss you guys. ~bestfriend for life...and death...

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  5. i knew them Katelyn Frazier i went to school with her when i found out i was in 3rd grade with her and i had stayed home that day when my mother told me i broke down i lived less than a mile from her when this happened i barely remember any of it i will never forget her or her sisters i will miss them forever

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  6. Kimberly Frazier was my best friend since 1st grade. I lived across the street and when it was cold, my mom would let her stay the night. Every Saturday we'd have a girls night. Im 16 now and I still hurt as much as i did the day she died. No one will ever replace her. I miss my sissy..

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  7. All the girls were like sisters to me.. To this day, I still cry in memor as tears streak down my cheeks. I loved these girls, and I lost 5 best friends

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