Witnesses said that flames covered the house by the time the smell of smoke and sound of a smoke alarm woke the the Jones family.
"I looked out my bathroom window, and all I could see was flames," said neighbor Pat McLaughlin, who tried to help the family.
Lorraine and Aaron Jones have health problems, so Priscilla Jones tried to help her father out through the back of the house, while Frank Jones tried to get his mother out through the front, witnesses said.
On the way out the front, debris fell from the ceiling, knocking Frank and Lorraine Jones to the ground. Frank Jones was able to escape the blaze, but he couldn't pull his mother out, witnesses said.
"Frank went back in and tried to get to his mother to get her out, but he couldn't. The flames were too high," McLaughlin said. "It's just heartbreaking because she was such a nice lady."
Firefighters found Lorraine Jones' body on the front porch near the entrance to the house. Her husband, son and daughter were treated at Wilson Medical Center for smoke inhalation and released, authorities said.
Lorraine Jones was actively involved at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and her death stunned church members.
"It's just so shocking. I almost went out of my mind when I heard it," friend Lou Robinson said. "She was just friendly, a very friendly person, and we're going to really miss her."
Investigators haven't determined what started the fire, but they said they don't believe it's suspicious.
Aaron Jones and his son and daughter are staying with relatives in Wilson.
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