‘It’s like a nightmare’: Walker County family remembers father killed in fire

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

NAUVOO, Ala. (WIAT) — A house fire claimed the life of a Walker County father and left his child and wife injured, according to investigators.

The incident happened in Nauvoo on 2nd Avenue early Monday morning.

James “JD” Guthrie, 29, has been identified by the Walker County Coroner’s Office as the victim in the fire. Officials said his girlfriend had to throw their child from a window before she climbed out to escape.

Both the woman and the child were airlifted to Birmingham hospitals.

“That little boy was JD’s world and Jamie was JD’s world,” said Guthrie’s sister, Jessica Davis.

Davis said it has been difficult to get updates on her brother’s loved ones, but she’s praying for a full recovery.

“I have been worried sick about them,” Davis continued. “I am going to be thinking about his child. I am going to be thinking about Jamie. People say pray for his family, keep them in your prayers too.”

With the holidays fast approaching, the family is still coming to grips with the loss. Guthrie had a special place for children, especially his son and his nephew.

“He would always pick at him. My oldest, he loved his Uncle JD, and they would just sit around and talk about video games and just anything,” said Guthrie’s sister Chasity Foster.

Family members said Guthrie loved to fix cars and be with friends.

“He would give you the shirt off his back if it was the last thing he had to give you,” said Davis.

The tragedy has also been difficult for the first responders who tried to help.

“It’s not often we get calls like this when we do they tend to stick with us,” said Nauvoo Fire Chief Arron Buchanan.

Buchanan said the house was fully engulfed when crews arrived. Some attacked the fire while he went in to search for Guthrie. The flames were just too much.

“Types of call like this, we kind of punish ourselves wishing we could have done more, got in there faster, just done things different and had a different outcome but there’s sometimes nothing we can do,” said Buchanan.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The American Red Cross is in touch with those affected to provide assistance.

Funeral arrangements for Guthrie have not been announced. A GoFundMe page has been started to help with expenses.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.