Decorated Fort Bragg Soldier And Two Daughters Killed In Fire

A decorated Special Forces soldier and his two young daughters are dead after he tried to rescue them from their burning home near a North Carolina Army post.

Thirty-six-year-old Edward Cantrell died in the fire early Tuesday near Fort Bragg. Cantrell earned four Bronze Stars and one Purple Heart and had returned from his fifth mission to Afghanistan in August.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says Cantrell's daughters, 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia, also died.

Spokeswoman Debbie Tanna says Cantrell and his 37-year-old wife Louise jumped from the home's second floor. Edward Cantrell re-entered the burning home in Hope Mills, about 10 miles from the post that is home to the Green Berets and other Special Forces units.

Louise Cantrell is being treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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A Special Forces soldier and his two daughters have died after he tried to rescue them from his burning home near Fort Bragg.

Edward Cantrell, 36, and his daughters, 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia were killed in the fire.

Cumberland County Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna says the Edward and his wife Louise initially managed to escape the burning home early Tuesday, but Edward went back in for his young daughters.

Tanna says the Louise told arriving firefighters the soldier re-entered the home at 4151 Pecan Drive in Hope Mills, about 10 miles from the Army base that is home to the Green Berets and other Special Forces units.

Louise, 37, had jumped from the second story of the home and ran to a nearby business to get help. Tanna says she is being treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for smoke inhalation.

The spokeswoman says the century-old home's timbers were likely very dry, causing a very hot blaze that kept firefighters outside hours after extinguishing the fire.

Edward was member of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. He recently returned from a mission in Afghanistan.


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  • by kristy Location: tucson az on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:05 AM
    May God guide my family in NC, through these saddend hours of darkness. Sending my love and prayers to u guys. In loving memory of a fallen hero and two precious baby angels. Lord, may they lay to rest in peace, and may you guide this family to comfort with faith in heart. Amen.
  • by kristy Location: tucson az on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:02 AM
    May God guide my family in NC, through these saddend hours of darkness. Sending my love and prayers to u guys. In loving memory of a fallen hero and two precious baby angels. Lord, may they lay to rest in peace, and may you guide this family to comfort with faith in heart. Amen.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 03:44 AM
    I agree, lower the flags and sulate this brave man.
    • reply
      by Sue on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:42 AM in reply to
      I agree, they lowered the flags in NJ for Whitney Houston, why not this man? A man of honor, a man of dignity.
  • by Judy Location: Bath, NC on Mar 6, 2012 at 05:36 PM
    Here is such a similar story as that of the Pittman family. I pray that Louise will recover soon from her physical wounds and that God will help her to heal from the emotional and devestating wounds that can't be seen by anyone but Him. I am so sorry she lost not only her children, but a good man who tried to save his family. He has just returned from war and it seems so unfair, but God doesn't make mistakes and he was truly a hero in every way, either away serving his country or at home loving and caring for his family. God Bless them all.
  • by puddin Location: tarboro nc on Mar 6, 2012 at 05:26 PM
    I would like to see Our Flags lowered at half mass in Honor of A Fallen Hero who gave so Bravely of Himself to Protect Our Country and Then to Die trying to save his own. I ask everyone to at least share in a moment of Silence for HIm and His Beautiful Little Angels.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 06:03 PM in reply to puddin
      Won't happen. It'll happen for a crackhead alcoholic racist has been singer.
  • by puddin Location: tarboro nc on Mar 6, 2012 at 05:06 PM
    May God comfort this family today and in the days ahead as this will take time to heal in the hearts of the wife and mother along with a lot of other family members that have suffered the loss also.I know this Dad will be Honored by our Father in Heaven for trying to save his beautiful children from this tradgey.I was burned at 4 years of age over 1/2 my body and now I am almost 60 years of age and it still touch me today when I read such sadness as this. Your family will be with me in prayer tonight along with The Pittman family as well.Remember God is with you always.
  • by tod Location: enc on Mar 6, 2012 at 04:46 PM
    this is a real man. Kids should have posters of men like him on the wall instead of thugs who can dunk a ball. RIP and God bless
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 06:02 PM in reply to tod
      I would talk with a name like TOD.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 04:16 PM
    Put your bibles down and face realty for once.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 04:44 PM in reply to
      Amen!
  • by me Location: bayboro on Mar 6, 2012 at 04:14 PM
    May God comfort and bless this family.
  • by A Mom on Mar 6, 2012 at 02:00 PM
    What a tragic way to die. I pray this brave Daddy's family is comforted in some way knowing that he is with his precious little girls. Rely on your faith in the dark days ahead... God will get you through the hard times.
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