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Fire Destroys LaSalle Parish Family's Home, Heroics Keep Them Together

A family who has lost everything in a house fire is still united through the heroics of their young son.
Lea Anna Collinson and her family lost their LaSalle Parish home to a fire on Monday (Nick Lawton, KTVE/KARD)
Lea Anna Collinson and her family lost their LaSalle Parish home to a fire on Monday (Nick Lawton, KTVE/KARD)
Lea Anna Collinson and her family staying in a hotel room given by the Red Cross (Nick Lawton, KTVE/KARD)
Lea Anna Collinson and her family staying in a hotel room given by the Red Cross (Nick Lawton, KTVE/KARD)

LASALLE PARISH/MONROE -- Lea Anna Collinson, fiancee Aaron and kids Evan and Jackson all call Room 533 at Monroe's Clarion Inn home, but not by choice.
  
Their family home, tucked away deep down Highway 126 in LaSalle Parish, burned to the ground Monday.

"We lost everything. The whole house is gone, everything in the house. Everything's gone," Collinson said.

Both Christmas Eve and Day were spent with their entire lives in ashes.

But they're all alive, largely thanks to 14-year-old Evan.
  
The night of the fire, both parents were working.
 
Evan was alone with his 3-year-old little brother when he heard strange noises coming from the fireplace.

"I started smelling something and I thought I kind of heard something hit the fireplace, but I didn't think anything of it," Evan said.

Soon, those harmless noises took a dangerous turn.

"He started yelling, 'Fire!', Jackson," Evan said. "Part of the carpet in front of the fireplace was lit up already. I ran and picked up the cushion of the couch that was on fire. I ran outside and looked for him a little bit, but he wasn't there."

Evan picked the flaming cushions up and got them out of the house as best he could, but his brother was still inside, in his room.

A floor of fire now separated the two brothers.

That's when Evan said adrenaline took over.

"I knew I had to get him out as fast as I can. Nothing else ran through my mind," he said. "I just knew I had to get him out."

Evan said he ran through the flames and got to his brother, evidenced by the burns on his leg.

"It doesn't hurt anymore," he said. "It used to be yellowish right here because I really didn't know what happened there."

It soon became clear that he couldn't save the house.

"I already knew it was over with as soon as I saw the ceiling catch, so I knew there was no point trying to put it out," Evan said.

The brothers escaped and made it to the neighbors.

So here the family is, getting some help from loved ones and a three-night stay at the Clarion from the Red Cross, but now looking for a new start.

Though they can't be home for the holidays, they're thankful they're together.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time, really. I'm just trying to keep everything as normal as possible right now," Collinson said.

"I feel closer to Jackson because I'm glad I could have done something," said Evan. "Every day I kind of think what would have happened if I wouldn't have got him out."

The family has a fund set up in case anyone would like to help them out.

People can go to any branch of the Caldwell Bank and Trust at the following locations:

-202 Main Street, Columbia, LA. (318) 649-2351

-3591 Front Street, Winnsboro, LA. (318) 435-9600

-8157 U.S. Highway 165, Columbia, LA. (318) 649-0736

People just need to ask for the Lea Anna Collinson Fund.






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