CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - Flowers were placed on the front lawn of the charred home where Brittany Presley and her six kids died Saturday.
“I’ve known these kids for -- well, ever since they moved into this neighborhood," Allen Short, a neighbor, said.
He said the children’s father, Jake Presley, tried to rescue his family as the home went up in flames.
“I’d seen the dad and he told me, he didn’t think nobody else had gotten out. And, of course, with the burglary bars being on the house, I don’t know if that was a big factor in him trying to get them out and everything. It’s just -- it’s just devastating,” said Short.
“[Jake Presley’s] hair was singed and he had a big cut on his arm where he busted one of the windows trying to get in there to him. And just couldn’t get to them.”
“It’s just horrible," said West Browning, Jake Presley’s childhood friend. ”I can’t imagine... and just being left alive to deal with all loses. I-- I couldn’t do it. What he’s left with, you know?”
Canton Public Schools said the mother, Brittany Presley, was a 2nd grade teacher at Reuben. B. Myers Canton School of Arts and Sciences. Her son was a pre-k student there.
Presley’s older children attended Clinton Public School. They describe her as loving and nurturing.
“The kids were really nice and the whole neighborhood is just destroyed about this whole thing because it’s just -- it’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking,” said Short.
On Saturday night, Jake Presley was still in the hospital in critical condition, but stable.
Close friends started a GoFundMe page for the family.
Raymond Road Baptist Church, their home of worship, established a fund for them as well.