Arkansas Firefighters Respond to Storage Building Blaze

Black smoke towered over the city of Clarksville, Ark. the morning of Jan. 22 as a storage building in the downtown area filled with electrical supplies, PVC fittings, power tools, and other back stock for Jack Cecil Hardware were engulfed by flames.

Firefighters were paged to the mid-morning fire around 9:30 a.m. According to Clarksville Fire Chief Ron Wylie, the building was a concrete block building with a metal roof topped by two inches of heavy tar.

Johnson County Office of Emergency Management Manager, Josh Johnston, stated that one of the problems that hampered firefighters was the limited access to the structure. According to Johnston, there were no doors on two sides of the building and no windows in the structure. Another challenge, he noted, was that the building was "completely full of contents." He stated that Clarksville firefighters went to a defensive mode "early on."

Johnston stated, "Fortunately there were no windy conditions and smoke was not dispersed into the city. Our Office's primary role was that of a support agency, and we were prepared for a potential evacuation of nearby residences in case of wind shifts. We were lucky that there was a high rise of smoke and that the fire department was able to put the fire out quickly."

Four apparatus were on scene, including the department's ladder truck.

Wylie noted that there was no damage to adjoining structures and that no one was injured. He stated that the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

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