[Vision2020] Green Beret dies trying to save daughters from fire

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Mar 13 12:13:33 PDT 2012

Courtesy of the Army Times.


Green Beret dies trying to save daughters from fire 

A decorated Green Beret died March 6 trying to rescue his two young daughters from their burn ing North Carolina home.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Cantrell died, along with 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia. Authorities say he leapt from the second floor of the burning house, wrapped himself in a blanket and ran back inside for his girls.

“He never made it back out,” said Debbie Tanna, of the Cum berland County sheriff ’s office.

Cantrell’s wife and the girls’ mother, Louise, also jumped from the second floor. She was treated and released from a Fayetteville hospital for smoke inhalation.

Cindy Jacobs, who works at an assisted living home next door, said Louise Cantrell ran to the facility during the fire to get the staff to call 911.

Edward Cantrell, 36, was a member of 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C. He was born in Dyersburg, Tenn., and joined the Army in 1994 as a military policeman.

He served in South Korea, Bosnia and Italy before earning his Green Beret in 2004 at Fort Bragg and settling in Hope Mills. He had one combat deployment to Iraq and five to Afghanistan, returning from the last mission in August, said Lt. Col. April Olsen of Army Special Forces Command. His awards included four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, Olsen said.

“There are no words to express the sorrow felt in our close knit community when a family suffers such a tragedy,” the command said on its Facebook page.

A funeral with full military hon ors is planned for later this month at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. Cantrell’s daugh ters will be buried with their father.

A charity is collecting donations 

through Army Special Operations Command’s Facebook page. 

The Cantrell house was built in 1920. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A sign at the end of the driveway blocked with yellow police tape says “The Cantrells Est. Feb. 7, 2004.” Bouquets of flowers and two teddy bears had been placed nearby.

Firefighters from Cotton Volun teer Fire Department, which is less than two miles away, were on the scene within four minutes of receiving the dispatch call. Assis tant Chief Kevin Dove said the house was already engulfed in flames. “They perished before our arrival,” said Dove, a veteran fire fighter. “It was horrible.” □ 

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Cantrell is shown with his daughters Natalia, left, and Isabella.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"If not us, who?
If not now, when?"

- Unknown

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