Police & Fire

Joan family loses home to fire on Thanksgiving eve

By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

JOAN — A house fire has left a Clark County family without a roof over their heads on the day before Americans give thanks for all their blessings.

Flames burn inside a mobile home in the Joan community Wednesday. No one was home at the time of the fire. | Joel Phelps/The Arkadelphian

About 20 minutes before noon Wednesday, Nov. 23, volunteer firemen of the East Clark County Fire Department were summoned to a fully engulfed mobile home located at the intersection of Mt. Morriah and Round Hill roads. Minutes later the Arkadelphia Fire Department was dispatched to the scene for assistance.

The fire was at the intersection of Mt. Morriah Road and Round Hill Road, a short drive from Joan. | Google Maps

Firefighters spent the next hour dousing the blaze, which appeared to have originated somewhere in the central area of the mobile home. Blaine Hackworth, fire chief for the East Clark County department, said the fire started in the living room/kitchen area. Not only did the fire destroy the trailer, but it also spread to the backyard and totaled what authorities described as a new vehicle.

A passing motorist phoned 911 to report the fire. The residents, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, were in Glenwood when the fire erupted. A deputy at the scene identified the homeowner as Jim Butler.

Authorities were unable to determine the cause of the fire Wednesday but speculated that it was either electrical or gas-related. Deputies at the scene identified the owner of the trailer as Jim Butler.

Butler, who had lived in the home for close to a decade, was among the founding members of the DeGray Fire Department, according to Hackworth, a longtime friend of Butler’s.