By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Pictures of the two children together in Halloween costumes, a red wagon and swimming pool are among the memories remaining of two beautiful souls.
The cousins, Dakota Brassfield, 2, and Crystlyn Brewer, 5, are deceased in connection with a Monday mobile home fire on County Road 540 in Alcorn County. Their grandmother, Samantha Mason, 46, also died.
In another family picture Samantha is smiling as she holds little Dakota at a birthday party.
Tears welled in Eva Mason’s eyes as she talked about the tragedy that claimed the lives of three family members.
“They were sweet babies,” said Eva Mason of the children. “They were happy babies.”
Crystlyn would have been at school in Biggersville and not in the fire had it not been a holiday Monday, Mason sadly noted as she sat in her home next door to where the tragedy occurred shortly before noon.
Crystlyn’s life ended just four days shy of her sixth birthday, and Dakota would have been 3 years old in June.
Samantha, the two children and Crystlyn’s mom, Nikki Brewer, lived together in the trailer. Samantha had a stroke about two years ago and lost use of her left arm and got around with the help of a walking stick. Samantha was also in a collision a few weeks ago and hurt her right arm. Sometimes she used a wheelchair.
Eva Mason’s son was at her house Monday and came out of his bedroom and told her and her husband, Fred, to call 911 because Samantha’s mobile home was on fire. She called 911 and then her brother, who lives a short distance away.
Eva went outside and asked Nikki if Samantha and the two children were still inside the mobile home. Eva dropped her phone and grabbed a shovel out of a work shed to break out a bedroom window in the mobile home.
She scraped the glass away from the window and reached into the mobile home and pulled out a comforter to place over the window where the broken glass was so her brother could crawl inside. But the smoke was too thick.
They went to the back of the trailer where there was also fire and thick smoke. The smoke was so thick that the door and porch on the back of the trailer were not visible.
Family members called out for those inside the trailer but received no response. They did all they could to help Samantha and the children until the firefighters arrived. The firefighters also did everything in their power to help, she said.
The children called Fred and Eva maw maw and paw paw and enjoyed playing on the swing set. They gave Dakota a small pool for his birthday. Crystlyn called her cousin Dakota her little brother, and they loved each other. She would help him climb the ladder of the swing set.
Samantha was a quiet person, and she retired from Plumrose in Booneville before her stroke. Her feet would swell, and she had trouble standing at work.
The bodies will undergo autopsies in Pearl, and the state fire marshal’s office said the blaze was caused by “a child putting flammable materials into a propane heater.”