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Survivor paints vivid picture of fatal fire

By Walter Geiger Truck driver Larry Dobbins spent a late night playing cards at a mobile home on Hwy. 36 East Feb. 11 and decided to spend the night on the couch. He awoke the next morning to tragedy. *************** ©The Herald Gazette/ This information may not be reprinted, broadcast or distributed electronically in any form or fashion without express consent. For reprint permission, e-mail *************** A fire in the mobile home of Susan and Allen Mote took the lives of Hailey Power, 13, and Anna Hambrick, 10. ’I was asleep on the couch. I heard a big bang that woke me up. The whole living room wall was engulfed in flames. Hailey and Anna were on the other side of that wall,’ Dobbins said. Dobbins refuted reports that his lighting a Coleman lantern started the fire. ‘I had never seen a Coleman lantern until I saw it at the sheriff’s department. There was an oil heater there. The big bang woke me up. The deputies said it could have been a big picture falling off the burning wall,’ Dobbins said. Dobbins reported the home had working smoke detectors. ’About the time I woke up, the alarms went off. I yelled, ‘˜Fire. Get out of the house’. I woke up Brenda (Icenhour) and Susan and told them to get out of the house. I got down on the floor and crawled out the back dining room door,’ Dobbins continued. Once he was outside, Mote handed five-year-old Alan Maddox to him through a window. Then, he and another family member went to the window of the room in which the two girls were trapped. ’We had to take an air conditioner out of the window. Hailey was hanging out the window. I told her to get on the floor. I threw a brick and broke out the glass and got Hailey out. I could not find Anna. The fire department had to get Anna out,’ Dobbins said. Both Hailey and Anna suffered from severe smoke inhalation and were hospitalized at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. Anna died Feb. 14. Hailey succumbed three days later. At presstime Monday, Mote remained in critical condition.

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