By JOE MAY | The Southern Standard
A house on Helms Road near Arkadelphia was severely damaged in an early morning fire Friday.
According to Gum Springs Fire Chief Austin Thompson, the residence of Huey and Martha Dixon was reported to be on fire around 6:07 a.m. Friday, March 3. The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but it originated in the eastern portion of the house, largely demolishing the home.
Thompson said the home was likely a total loss, even though firemen from Gum Springs, Arkadelphia, Curtis and Hollywood were able to save approximately half of the structure. Thompson said flames spread quickly through the home.
“When I got there, the flames were probably 20-by-20 [feet] and then it was suddenly engulfed. It’s a true blessing Mrs. Dixon was awake at the time because it moved very quickly.”
Firemen were able to save “a reasonable amount of stuff” from the home, Thompson said. He credited Hollywood Fire Chief Bill Rogers with saving the home, noting that Rogers “did an excellent job of static water drawing” by siphoning water from a nearby pond so as to be able to keep water on the flames. “It would have been lost if it hadn’t been for him,” the chief said.
Thompson noted an unusual event at the fire.
“There’s going to be a blessing coming from it because there was a rainbow out there at the same time and we saw a bald eagle. You just don’t see bald eagles out there,” he commented.
Martha Dixon is a long-time Arkadelphia businesswoman who operated Dixon Manufacturing on Clinton Street for many years until it was lost to a fire. She is also an author and has been credited with making gowns for former First Lady Hilary Clinton.