student killed in fire
Monitor Staff Reports
CHEROKEE SHORESA Eustace Intermediate student didnt make it to her first day
of fourth grade. She died in a house fire early Sunday morning.
A candlelight vigil was held in her memory Sunday night at the Eustace Town Square.
Eustace ISD officials said counselors were on hand Monday to assist students with their
The body of Kolbee Moss, 10, was found in a bedroom of her residence within minutes of the
arrival of firefighting equipment.
Courtesy Photo/Payne Springs Fire
Firefighters knock down a fatal fire in Cherokee Shores Sunday that claimed the life of
10-year-old Kolbee Moss.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy.
Kolbee lived at 108 Huntoon Trail, located in Cherokee Shores, with her mother, step-dad
and 14-year-old brother.
Payne Springs Fire Rescue chief Randy Harley said the call came in at 4:45 a.m., and the
first crew arrived on scene four minutes later, along with Harley. A second fire engine
arrived two minutes after that.
Upon arrival, the first fire engine, with five firefighters on board, was packed out and
ready to rescue, Harley said. However, the conditions didnt allow them to go
When I arrived, flames were already extending out of the trailer on both
sides, Harley said. The building at that time was unable to support life. No
rescue was possible.
They attacked the fire with two 1 ¾-inch hoses and had a quick knock-down, he
said. They went in and located the body in the bedroom.
A neighbor placed the call to 9-1-1, but when the fire was discovered, flames were already
coming out of the living room window and going up a tree, Harley said.
The neighbor recounted hearing screams and popping. He went outside to investigate, and
saw three people banging and shouting for Kolbee to get out. He ran back to his house and
told his wife to call 9-1-1.
Harley said the first to become aware of the fire was Kolbees brother, who was
awakened by the smoke. He tried to get to her bedroom, but heavy heat and smoke prevented
He was able to wake his parents by pounding on their bedroom wall from the outside
of the residence, he explained.
Two adults escaped by pushing the window a/c unit out and climbing out after it. They
started fighting the fire with garden hoses.
There could have been four deaths that day, Harley said. This is why
working smoke detectors are so very, very important.
Henderson County fire marshal Darrell Furrh told The Monitor the state government code
requires all rental properties, including single-family dwellings, to be equipped with
working smoke detectors.
The state adopted the National Fire Protection Associations Life Safety Code 101.
In Chapter 24, it stipulates about smoke detectors in rental properties, Furrh
The fire is being investigated by the Henderson County Fire Marshal and Payne Springs Fire
Harley said he is fairly certain the fire started in the living room.
Payne Springs Fire Rescue responded with seven pieces of equipment and 14 members, and was
automatically assisted by Gun Barrel City Fire Department. They responded with three
apparatus and five firefighters.
Two hurt in bike-car collision
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANKAn Athens motorcycle rider sustained serious injuries in a late-afternoon
collision with a crossing automobile on the west side of Mabank Friday.
Charles Wayne Ewald, 38, of Athens, was riding a 2007 Vulcan V-twin motorcycle eastbound
on U.S. Highway 175 when he collided with a 1994 Toyota Celica driven by David Clark, 37,
of Gun Barrel City.
Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
BELOW: Mabank Police Sgt. Ryan Estes takes photos of a Vulcan V-twin motorcycle
destroyed in a two-vehicle wreck at the U.S. 175/Business 175 interchange
west of downtown Mabank near 7 p.m. Friday. ABOVE: Orange paint marks
the position of a Toyota Celica struck by the Vulcan V-twin motorcycle. A
rear-seat passenger in the Celica was cut by flying glass and transported to
Kaufman Presbyterian Hospital.
Clarks Celica was crossing U.S. 175 at the Business 175 interchange when the
collision occurred, Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee reported Monday.
The accident happened at 6:47 p.m., and Clark would have been looking into the setting sun
when attempting to cross over U.S. 175. The report indicated no citations were issued,
Ewalds motorcycle squarely struck the left rear quarter of the Celica, and he
apparently had no opportunity to brake or take evasive action, based on the lack of skid
marks at the scene.
The impact destroyed both vehicles, and sent Ewald flying about 20 yards along the
eastbound lanes, coming to rest on the inside median edge of the pavement.
One of two juvenile passengers in the Celica, who was not identified, was in the rear
seat, but on the other side of the car. He suffered numerous cuts from flying glass, and
was transported by EMS ambulance to Presbyterian Hospital in Kaufman.
Ewald was airlifted from the scene by Air 1 medical helicopter and taken to Tylers
East Texas Medical Center Level 1 trauma center.
As of Monday afternoon, Ewald remained in the intensive care unit, but was expected to
recover, McAfee reported.
Low water in Kemp forces strict conservation
KEMPDue to several major waterline breaks, the City of Kemp is experiencing
extremely low fresh water reserves. The City Council asks city water customers to severely
restrict all nonessential use of water over the next week to 10 days. If this action
doesnt work to restore safe water reserves, supplemental water may have to be
brought in by tanker truck, and/or customers will be under a boil water notice until water
levels are restored.
Late Tuesday, the council met in emergency session to discuss and issue this water