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UPDATE: A Jones County family of six loses everything in fire

Jones County, MS - A couple and their four children are homeless after a fire destroyed their mobile home Sunday afternoon, August 30, in the Oak Grove community of Jones County.

At 4:34 p.m., fire units from the City of Ellisville, and Johnson, Union, Moselle, and Ovett Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the reports of a structure fire on Old School House Road. Upon arrival firefighters found heavy smoke and flames showing from the single-wide mobile home.

The home owner, Rayford Cromwell, his wife, and four children, ages 11, 8, and 6-year old twins, were not at home at the time of the fire. The home was deemed a total loss, and the family lost everything.

The cause of the fire was electrical in nature, due to improper use of equipment.

Firefighters remained on scene for over two hours performing fire suppression and overhaul operations.

Also responding to the fire were Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna, and the American Red Cross.

Story by Linda Cranford, Jones County Fire Service PIO


A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Cromwell Family who lost everything in the fire Sunday night, August 30. Anyone wanting to donate to the family can go online to

Amanda Cromwell, the wife and mother, is an employee at Pasquale’s in Laurel. Pasquale’s owner, Mack Vandermerwe, said, “Amanda, is a very special part of our family, here at Pasquale’s. She has been off for a few weeks due to an emergency surgery. Last week, she begged her doctor to email me a release, so she could come back to work. Today, (Tuesday), is her first day back. She could have chosen to stay home and feel sorry for herself, but she is here at work. That says a lot about her.”

Amanda’s cousin, Lisa, said, “Amanda, is the best mother. She and Ray, both are not going to ask for help for themselves, their main concern is for the four children, who don’t quite understand what’s going on.”

Amanda said they are all having a hard time. They are staying with a relative for now, and had to pass by their burned home Tuesday morning on the way to taking the children to school. “The children started crying, Ray started crying, and we were all crying,” said Amanda as tears rolled down her cheek. She said that was the only home the children had ever known. She and her husband moved into the mobile home right after they were married 12 years ago. “It was his grandmother’s,” said Amanda. “As we began to have more children, Ray added on to the back. He did it all himself.”

Vandermerwe said that anyone wishing to, can also stop by Pasquale’s to make a donation to the Cromwell family.

“I told Amanda, that if this had to happen to her, that it couldn’t have happened in a better place,” exclaimed Vandermerwe. “Jones County is the best place in the United States. I told her she will see, she has more friends than she may realize.”

The blessings have already begun. Ray, who had been out of work for several months, received a phone call Tuesday morning, and will start a new job next Monday.

Photos provided by Amanda Cromwell

Story by Linda Cranford, Jones County Fire Service PIO



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