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UPDATE: Sloan sisters die in Eastpoint fire

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that two elementary school age girls, both students at Franklin County Elementary School, perished in an early Friday morning fire in Eastpoint.

Franklin County fifth-grader Alexis Sloan, and fourth-grader Lillian Sloan died in the blaze that struck the home of their parents, Crystal and Thomas Cooper, of 607 Wilderness Road.

The 911 call came in at 1:05 a.m. and was from a caller who said their neighbor’s house was engulfed in flames.

Area fire departments rushed to the scene as did law enforcement from the county and both cities.

Eastpoint Fire Chief George Pruett said that when  firedfighters arrived at the property , consisting of a mobile home and attached structure, they were fully engulfed.

One possible cause of the fire, although it has not been verified by investigators,  was a heat lamp being used to keep warm a new litter of puppies, Smith said.

Family members said cries from the puppies awoke one of the boys, who woke his siblings and his parents.

Donations are being collected by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Starting Monday, donations can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office. The family currently has plenty of clothes but household essentials are needed.
The sheriff has set up a charity fund at https://square.link/u/uyscpp2H  A check can also be mailed to 270 State Road 65, Eastpoint, FL 32328, please make sure it is memoed to the Cooper Family.
Centennial Bank has an account set up, and donations can be made to the Cooper Family.
Emerald Coast Credit Union is hosting a yard sale on Saturday, Jan. 29 at their location, 268 Highway 98 Eastpoint.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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