MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - The Morgan County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in connection with a fatal fire in the Joppa community that is being investigated as arson and murder.
The fire claimed the life of 32-year-old Kimberley Lamons. Authorities said Lamons died from smoke inhalation. Family members told WHNT that she ran back into the home to save her 9-year-old daughter, Cynthia. Kimberly Lamons' mother and daughter both survived the fire.
16-year-old Nicholas Clay Lamons, the son of the victim, has been charged with 1st-degree arson and felony murder and is currently in the Morgan County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
The early morning house fire happened on Tuesday at the corner of Highway 67 and Apple Grove Road in the Joppa community.
"A loved one you trusted, lived with and cared for. It's very hard for all of us to deal with and for the community to deal with," said Sheriff Ana Franklin.
Because Lamons is 16, Sheriff Franklin says she can't speak to any past behavioral issues he had or if there were any problems with the family. But she believes for whatever reason, he set fire to the home, then simply left while his mom, grandmother, and sister were inside sleeping.
"She was attempting to get her family out when she succumbed," said Sheriff Franklin. "And if not for her efforts, I don't think the child would've made it out."
One death instead of three. But with a mother dead and a home destroyed, four lives are changed forever.
The family lost everything in the fire, but the community is rallying behind them.
The Karri Willis Insurance Agency has set up drop off locations at both of their business offices. For the many donations the family has already received they're grateful. They have started a GoFundMe account to help raise funds.
If you would like to drop off donations, the offices are located at 1510 2nd Avenue NW Cullman, Alabama 35055 and 33 Golfview Drive NE Arab, Alabama 35016.