Local Departments Battle House Fires
Damage was heavy to both the structure and contents in a residential fire which occurred Friday, Feb. 13, at 221 North Stewart Street in Rector.
The occupant of the house, Ronnie Payne, was treated for burns at the scene by emergency personnel.
The alarm came in at 11:58 a.m. and fire personnel arrived at 12:04. The fire was contained at about 1:45.
A report from the Rector Fire Department indicates that Payne's wife reported smelling smoke when she emerged from a hall bathroom and found a bedroom on the west side of the house on fire.
The fire on the ground floor was contained, according to the report, but it moved up the west wall into the attic. The roof was vented in several places to relieve the smoke and heavy water suppression was utilized to extinguish the fire.
The cause of the fire is classified as unknown at this time.
The residence is owned by Robert Plante of Rector.
Meanwhile, Piggott firefighters braved frigid cold, and icy conditions, early Monday morning as they responded to a house fire on the east side of the city. The call went out just after 7 a.m., as firefighters were summoned to 511 East Davis Street. Upon arrival they found the small home at the location fully involved, and spent well over an hour trying to bring the blaze under control. Fire personnel also returned to the scene several times over the course of the next 24 hours, as the blaze continued to rekindle.
Once they arrived on the scene, the firefighters were hampered by a metal roof on the structure, which restricted the amount of water they could apply to the fire in the attic area of the home. In response to the problem a backhoe was later brought to the scene, and with the permission of the owner and tenant, was used to push down a portion of the rear wall to allow firefighters access to the blaze.
Reports from the fire department indicated they remained on the scene for well over an hour, and then returned to the location around 9:30 a.m. Firefighters also dumped more water on the smoldering structure Monday afternoon, and were called out one last time just after 3 a.m. Tuesday.
According to reports the house was the property of Curtis Fuller and was rented at the time of the blaze. Fuller identified the tenant as Jesse Roberts, and indicated he did not believe he was home at the time the blaze was discovered.
There were no reports of any injuries to the firefighters, and the cause of the blaze had not been determined as of last report.