Services scheduled Saturday for boy, 3, killed in fire

Salvation Army seeking donations of household items

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Feb. 8 2007 - Funeral arrangements have been set for Saturday for Caden West, the 3-year-old boy who died in a house fire Sunday.

Graveside services will be held at Forrest Chapel Cemetery in Chicota, located about 15 miles northwest of Paris, at 1 p.m. Saturday. The family will receive friends at West Oaks Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, clothing donations have been pouring in for the family of Mike and Beth West, who have three other children: Casey, age 6, and Connor, 3, and Mikayla, who were both at home at the time of the fire.

"We've got a lot of clothes, and probably do have all the clothes we need," said Jo Marie Neal with Hopkins County Salvation Army. "They're going through clothes today and seeing what they can wear and what they can't wear."

Neal also said they're "pretty good on furniture" donations for the family, who lost virtually all their possessions in the fire and had no insurance to cover their loss.

What they do need, she said, are the hundreds and hundreds of household items that we all take for granted — bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, pillows, bed sheets,  pots, pans, kitchen utensils, etc., etc.

Beth West sustained second-degree burns in the fire, the worst of it on her feet, which were barefwhen she was trying to get to Caden in the burning house Sunday. Beth was taken to the burn unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital Sunday, and while she has been released, is still in a lot of pain, Neal said.

"She told me, 'I really don't know what all we do need. Everything, I guess,'" Neal said.

Donations can be dropped off at Hopkins County Salvation Army Headquarters at The Bait and Tackle Shop, located adjacent to the Super Handy next to Wal-Mart in the 1700 block of South Broadway Street. Neal can also be reached by calling 903-885-9858.

An account for financial donations has also been set up at Alliance Bank in the name of Mike and Beth West.

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