A tragic fire near the corner of FM 455 and FM 1173 in Bolivar, took the life of Grant Parker, age 72, on Monday morning around 8 a.m. He was trying to rescue his great-granddaughter Riley, who turns two, on June 8th. “His last act was trying to save Riley,” said Wendy Parker on Wednesday morning. Wendy is the daughter of Paula and Grant Parker. Her parents have lived in this house for nearly 30 years and Wendy is a graduate 1989 graduate of Sanger High School.
Wendy and her daughter Alysia Neely (Riley’s mom) were both at work, when the electrical fire started. Wendy’s brother Travis Parker and mother Paula were in the front of the house. Grant and Riley were in the back side of the home, when the the structure suddenly filled with smoke. “My dad yelled for everyone to get out of the house,” said Wendy. At that time, Dwayne and Angela Tyree, of Decatur, were driving by the house and saw the smoke coming from the home. They stopped to help. They got Wendy’s mom out of the house, while Travis went outside to the back and ripped out a window, but there was too much smoke, so he went to the other side and took out another window and reached in to pull out Riley. She was unconscious, her lungs filled with smoke. Travis tried to go back and save his dad, but there was too much smoke and the flames were out of control.
Riley was transported to Cooks Children’s Hospital. She’s been released and Wendy said she has a pretty bad cough, but her lungs are good.
“For some reason her diaper bag made it out of the house. That was my dad’s main focus to get Riley out. His world revolved around her,” said Wendy.
A funeral service for Mr. Parker will be held next week, a date, time and place TBA. Coker Funeral Home in Sanger is in charge of arrangements.
Tammy Bell has organized donations for the family on her Face-book page. Tim Hendrix started a GoFundMe Page. Search House Fire Tragedy, Tim Hendrix. The house was a total loss and Paula lost everything. “I appreciate the Sanger Community! They’ve been absolutely wonderful,” an emotional Wendy, added.
“I want raise a total of $5,000 if not more for this sweet lady (Paula) to help cover hospital bills, lawn mower replacement, funeral cost, etc. Let’s all come together and show her some love. So please with all this being said, pray about giving!! I asked her permission to create this and she said it would be such a major blessing,” said Hendrix.