Fire destroys family's home in Bauxite early Monday
Bonnie Vocque, 28, was up late studying. Her family was asleep. At 1:30 a.m. Monday, the sound of smoke alarms broke the silence of her family's rural Saline County home.
Four hours later, the family's world had changed.
When she heard the alarms, Bonnie awakened her husband Luke, 33, and her daughters, Aubrie, 12, and Lacy, 11.
"The house was filled with smoke. We got the girls and went outside," she said. "Luke dialed 911 and shortly after he placed the call, the windows blew out. The whole house was engulfed."
Twenty-minutes later, firefighters and trucks from East End, Sardis and Bauxite fire departments converged on the mobile home to battle the flames until 5:30 a.m. A propane tank adjacent to the carport was within 10 feet of the fire.
"The firemen kept spraying water on it to keep it cool," Bonnie said.
"It still hasn't hit me," she said Monday afternoon. "I'm standing here looking at it, and it still hasn't hit me."
Every bit of her home had burned. The section of her manufactured home that included the family bedrooms appeared to be the last area burned. Bonnie and Luke's bedroom had been added on to the end of the home.
Bonnie is a pharmacy tech at the Kroger pharmacy and is studying to become a pharmacist. Luke works as a lineman for the city of Benton.
Bonnie's other two children were not at home at the time of the fire. Braxton, 7, and Ashton Lytle, 20, were at their father's home.
Bonnie and her mother, Deborah, returned Monday afternoon to the smoldering ruins of the home to take pictures. Open flames near the front of the house and the daughter's bedroom continued to burn.
After approximately 20 minutes of searching, the only item she found that wasn't completely destroyed was her daughter Lacy's birthday gift from Feb. 9 — a Taylor Swift CD. "It was her favorite gift," said Bonnie.
One of the two family vehicles, a 2003 Honda Accord, was completely destroyed in the fire. "The glass is completely gone," noted Bonnie as she surveyed the damage done to her car.
Deborah received word of the fire by a text message from her daughter. "I didn't know what to think." she said.
The Vocque family had lived in the home since November 2012.
The family had two pets. The dog is doing fine, according to Bonnie, but their cat has not been found. "We are hoping it got scared and ran off." She hopes the cat will return soon.
At the present time, the American Red Cross is assisting the family with housing at an area hotel. An account has been set up at Bank of the Ozarks to accept monetary donations. Individuals interested in donating are asked to contact a Bank of the Ozarks location and note the "Vocque Fire Loss Fund."
The cause of the fire had not been determined as of press time.