UPDATE: Fort Smith Trailer Fire Victim Identified


UPDATE: Fort Smith police have identified the man who died in a trailer fire, along with more details about what happened, Wednesday night, January 16.

Jacob Demery, 36, was identified as the victim of the fire that occurred on Riverfront Drive and North E Street, according to Fort Smith police.

Upon arrival, police spoke with witnesses, David and Jason Henderson and Jerry Moore, who said they “saw flames coming from trailer … ran down there and saw flames.” 

Another witness, Maurice Frye who was in the process of setting up his tent for the night, told police a woman, Evelyn Cheater, came up to him and asked if he wanted to drink, but he declined. She returned to the trailer where the victim, Demery, was staying, according to the report.

Minutes later, the woman returned and asked Frye for his help because the trailer was on fire. He told her that he, “didn’t want any part of what they had going on,” and she returned to the trailer, according to the report.

Frye told police that he heard Cheater yelling for Demery to jump, but he said he couldn’t.

The trailer then became fully engulfed in fire. Frye said he no longer heard Demery and that he called 911.

The investigation into fire remains open.


One man has died from a Fort Smith fire that began on Wednesday night.

According to Fort Smith Fire Captain Ethan Millard, the fire started last night (January 16) at North E Street and Riverfront Drive.

Public Information Officer Aric Mitchell says the fire occurred in an enclosed trailer just before 10:15 p.m.

Fort Smith fire marshals are on scene investigating the cause of the fire. 

We will update this story when more information becomes available. 

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