Desiree Vinas Byrd, 31, receptionist, died September 28th. Survived by her two sons Devon Blaine and Andon Brice Byrd of Atoka, parents Michael and Robert Vinas of Drummonds, father-in-law Mark Hasara of Brighton, brothers Michael William Vinas of Jacksonville, N.C. and Robbie N. Vinas of Tiptonville, TN. Preceeded in death by her soul mate Christopher Akins, daughters Rylan and JayLyn Vinas Byrd, mother-in-law Sharon Hasara. Visitation will be Saturday from 12:00 unitl 2:00. Funeral serice will be at 2:00 p.m. all at Maley-Yarbrough Chapel. Internment will be in Covington Memorial Gardens.
Three adults and two children died in a mobile-home fire early Tuesday in Atoka that may have been ignited by a charcoal grill, authorities said. A quick-thinking 12-year-old boy, who was awakened by his sister's screaming, escaped from the blaze with his 6-year-old brother by kicking out a bedroom window. Atoka Police Chief Jessie Poole identified those who died in the fire as Desiree Mary Vinas Byrd, 31; her daughters, Rylan Vinas, who would have turned 3 today, and 1-year-old Jaylan Vinas; Byrd's live-in boyfriend, Chris Akins, 28; and Akins' mother, Sharon Hasara, 48. The Munford-Atoka Fire Department was called minutes after 2:30 a.m. Firefighters arrived to find Atoka police trying to rescue people trapped inside opposite ends of the burning mobile home, which sat at the end of an unpaved driveway at 2620 Tipton Road. Forming two teams, the rescuers were able to pull Desiree Byrd from the fire but were unable to revive her, said Munford-Atoka Fire Chief J.R. Bonson. Neighbors at one point saw the mother at a window, but she went back to the bedroom where her young daughters were, Poole said. Flames kept the second rescue team from its goal. "As we finally got the fire out and were able to talk to the boys (who escaped), we found out there were other people inside the house," Bonson said. He said one theory about how the fire started is that a charcoal grill was left unattended on a front deck overnight. However, he said state fire marshal's investigators are still at work, though no foul play is suspected. The 12-year-old boy, Devon Byrd, said he got out of bed when he heard his sister's screams and went to his bedroom door. "I opened the door, felt a lot of heat on my face and then realized there was a fire because there was all the smoke and I could hardly breathe," said Devon , recovering Tuesday in the care of his grandmother, Michael Lynn Vinas. He kicked out a window, clearing the way for him and his brother, Andon, to escape and find help at a neighbor's home on nearby Rogers Road. Cuts on his leg and arm required 52 stitches, he said. Does he feel like a hero? "Yep," Devon said. Relatives gathered at the home of the boys' father, Brandon Byrd, in Munford, across U.S. 51 from Atoka . Both towns are in Tipton County, about 25 miles northeast of Downtown Memphis. They watched television coverage of the fire and praised Devon's bravery. "I'm feeling very proud of him for getting out," said Brandon Byrd, 30. "I'm saddened that he wasn't able to get the Fire Department out earlier." Bonson said the Fire Department, with about 15 firefighters, two engines and a ladder company, arrived at 2:48 a.m., 10 minutes after receiving the call. "It was pretty much all burned up when we got there," he said. Mobile homes tend to burn faster than a conventionally constructed home, Bonson said. Brandon Byrd has been paralyzed since a trampoline accident in 2004 when he was living in the mobile home that burned. "A lot of tragedy in that place," Byrd said. He remained married to Desiree Byrd after the accident, but the couple had separated and Akins was the father of the two young girls who died in the fire, Byrd said. Byrd said that his state TennCare coverage for home care had recently been dropped and that unless it is restored, he may have to move to a nursing home from his Munford home, built with community donations. In the meantime, he said he is preparing for the funerals. "It's going to be hard," he said. Rick Cantrell, 57, a neighbor on Rogers Road near the burned mobile home, said the family's children played all the time with other youngsters in the area. "They were nice people," Cantrell said. Poole said an account has been set up for donations for the family of Desiree Vinas Byrd and Chris Akins at Insouth Bank. (By Kevin McKenzie, published in The Commercial Appeal 9/29/2010)