Fires engulf two Piggott homes
Two house fires resulted in extensive damage to Piggott homes this week.
Tragedy befell a Piggott family Sunday, as the holiday season was interrupted by a devastating fire. The Piggott Fire Department was called to 673 North Garfield at approximately 3:15 p.m. Sunday. According to fire chief Bradley Scheffler, the structure was fully involved when emergency crews arrived at the scene. The report was called in as a grease fire.
The fire spread quickly through the wood, two-story home, as raging winds further allowed flames to engulf the structure, as well as provided a hindrance to firefighters.
"The way the wind was blowing made it tough to do anything with it," Scheffler said. "I'd say the wind was probably blowing about 20 to 30 miles per hour while we were out there."
Fire crews fought the blaze for approximately three hours. The PFD had three pumper trucks attacking the inferno. Despite their efforts, the home and its contents were considered a total loss.
Fortunately, Shelly Johndrow and her three children -- the occupants of the rental property -- were able to escape from the burning building with no injuries reported. The property is owned by Van Taylor.
With the extent of the losses of personal items and the proximity of the holidays, organizers already have been at work collecting items for the family. Piggott students and faculty have gathered several items. The First Baptist Church Mission House also is collecting items of clothing.
The Mission House provides this information on items needed and sizes for the Johndrow family: Morgan, age 15, size 3 jeans, small shirts and size 8 shoes; Ryleigh, age 5, size 4 shirts, size 4 jeans and shoes in sizes 9 1/2 or 10; Corbin, age 8, size 7 slim jeans, size 8 shirts and size 2 shoes, and Shelly, age 35, size 7 to 8 jeans, medium shirts and 7 1/2 to 8 shoes. The Mission House was also able to provide some bedding supplies and toys for the children.
Those who wish to donate to the mission may visit the facility, located directly behind the First Baptist Church on Court Street, during its hours of operation from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Persons may also call (870) 634-6589 to contribute items.
Emanuel Baptist Church is also collecting items for the family. Persons may call 598-5128 to learn more.
At approximately 12:40 p.m. Monday, the fire department was alerted to a home fire at 378 Front Street. Within three minutes of receiving the call, members of the Piggott Fire Department were at the scene.
What they found upon arrival was the large, two story home of the Randall and Shannon Trammell family billowing smoke with flames emerging from the very top of the structure.
Three pumper trucks and approximately 20 firefighters arrived to fight the blaze. Again, conditions battled the emergency personnel as strong winds shifted not only large amounts of smoke, but also the flames, adding even more danger to the operation. Cold temperatures also created problems for the firefighters' breathing equipment, as exposure to the cold air of the afternoon froze any moisture built up on the apparatuses.
Crews were able to limit much of the damage on the lower level of the structure. Some furniture and appliances were saved from the blaze. Some items which remained in the lower level of the home did receive damage from water, however.
The upper portions of the home are considered a total loss.
No injuries were reported in the fire. Sources close to the family have reported the Trammells have been in the process of building a new home in the area which could lessen the strain. As of this writing, the family had not been in contact with Piggott organizations in regards to any needs they may have following the fire.
Chief Scheffler commended the efforts of the PFD at both fires.
"I appreciate everybody that turned out," Scheffler said. "They all worked really hard."