The Monticello, Ark. Fire Department was dispatched to Old Deane Road in unincorporated Drew County Sunday afternoon, July 4, for a report of a residential structure fire.
Upon arrival, firefighters reported finding smoke showing and fire in the attic space. Bystanders suggested that the home, which was inhabited but unoccupied at the time of the fire, was still under construction. Firefighters were able to make entry into the home. However, deteriorating conditions and a lack of water supply forced them to mount a defensive attack.
With the heaviest body of fire in the attic, firefighters attempted to open the gable end of the roof from the outside to attack the area. They directed as many as two 1.5" and a single 2.5" line towards the attic. The fire was initially held in check, but crews needed more water than the engines shuttling it from a hydrant down the road could provide.
Monticello Engines 1 & 3 responded on the first alarm of the incident. After crews realized that water supply was an issue, Engine 6 also responded to assist in water shuttle operations.
The fire eventually spread throughout the home causing a roof collapse. The intensity of the fire grew significantly following the collapse. Hoselines had to be shut down so that Engines 1 & 6 could be moved to a safer area. The home was a total loss. The fire is still under investigation.
The Monticello Fire Department is a combination department operating four engines, two rescues & a water rescue boat from two stations. The department is staffed by 11 career and approximately 12 paid-per-call personnel. The department provides suppression coverage for the city and areas within five miles of its borders while providing extrication & water rescue service for nearly all of Drew County.