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Soldier who died trying to rescue daughters laid to rest at Arlington

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:01 PM EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
Chief Warrant Officer II Edward Duane Cantrell had four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his service.
Chief Warrant Officer II Edward Duane Cantrell had four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his service.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Edward Duane Cantrell returned in August from his latest overseas deployment
  • The Green Beret, 36, had four Bronze stars and a Purple Heart
  • It was his wish to be buried at Arlington, the Army says

(CNN) -- A decorated U.S. soldier who died while unsuccessfully trying to rescue his daughters from their burning North Carolina home was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.

The funeral took place, as scheduled, in the early morning, said cemetery spokeswoman Jennifer Lynch.

Chief Warrant Officer II Edward Duane Cantrell, 36, was a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. The Green Beret had returned in August from his latest overseas deployment.

His wife, Louise, told officials the family was upstairs when the fire broke out just before 2 a.m. March 5 in Hope Mills, a suburb of Fayetteville.

She jumped from a second-floor window and ran next door to call for help while her husband went to get 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said.

Soldier, daughters die in house fire

"They never made it out," said Debbie Tanna, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office.

Officials believe the family's century-old home had tinderbox conditions that led to "a very intense fire."

Military officials said the Fort Bragg soldier had completed six deployments, including one to Iraq and five to Afghanistan.

He had four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his service, according to the Army Special Operations Command.

Cantrell was honored with a military funeral at the cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

"That was his wishes," said Lt. April Olsen of U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

His two daughters will lie beside him.

CNN's Bob Kovach, Rick Martin and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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