Family, friends couldn’t get through fire to save Blevins

Published 8:30 pm Monday, July 28, 2008

Blevins dies in house fire

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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MARION JUNCTION — Ollie James Blevins lived a life where he was constantly surrounded by family and friends.

They just couldn’t get to him quickly enough.

Blevins, 56, died in fire early Monday morning that destroyed his home on County Road 348.

Family members recalled hearing Blevins moving frantically inside before he succumbed to the blaze that left them mourning.

“When I woke up, the house was on fire,” said Bobby Fulford, Blevins’ brother-in-law. “I heard the window panes breaking out of it, and the flames were coming out of it on the other side. But we knew he was in there because he was bumping around trying to find his way out.”

Fulford and his wife, Brenda, live in the house directly in front of Blevins. Fulford said Brenda woke him up around 2 a.m. after she heard noises coming from Blevins’ trailer.

Fulford and Blevins’ brother, Leroy, broke down the front door and attempted to get inside. By then, the heat and smoke from the flames were too much.

Leroy Blevins, who lives next door, had seen his brother just hours before his death.

“We sat over there last night watching movies. I left from over there and came home and went to bed,” Blevins said. “Around 2 o’clock, my sister came hollering saying, ‘Get my brother. Come get him out the house. The house is on fire.’”

The volunteer fire departments of Potter’s Station and Marion Junction responded to the fire.

By the time trucks arrived, flames had already completely engulfed the right side of the house.

“The house was fully involved when we arrived,” said Marion Junction fire chief Gene Pegues. “By the time we got there, the room he was in was already burned up.”

The incident is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Several relatives lived within walking distance of Blevins. Cousin Linda Catlin said there weren’t many people, related or otherwise, who didn’t know him.

“We called him Cock-A-Doodle; he would joke and carry on,” Catlin said. “I feel so bad, I’ve been crying off and on all day. You don’t know how bad I feel. Me and him were like peas in a hull.”