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The carport and exterior wall of the home were fully engulfed when a passerby noticed the fire at 404 North Reine Street in Mena. Photo courtesy of Jeff Bolin

Fire Destroys Home; Cause Under Investigation

BY MELANIE BUCK –

A local woman’s home is a complete loss following a fire on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Calls came in to 911 dispatch just after 6 p.m. after a passerby and neighbors saw the flames. Initially, the home’s occupants were unaware of the blaze. Witnesses said shortly after notifying 911,  people began to exit the residence while on their phones as the blaze was consuming a back corner of the home. Once they were aware of the fire, others began to exit as well.

When Mena Fire Department arrived on the scene at 404 North Reine Street, much of the home was engulfed by fire. Four engines responded, dumping hundreds of gallons of water on the home, eventually quenching the flames.  Although some of the exterior walls remain standing, most everything inside the home was either consumed or destroyed by smoke damage.

Homeowner Anne Gonzalez said she and her two grown sons that live with her lost “practically everything” including her two cats. They were able to save her dog. One of her sons, Casey Darr, lost his eye glasses in the fire. Gonzalez said, “He is totally blind without them. He doesn’t even have shoes right now.” They have also lost a key to one of their vehicles. Her son Caleb Darr also lost everything.

Although the cause of the fire is still being investigated, Gonzalez said, “My two things most important are ok,” she said as she motioned to her sons. “We’re ok, and we’re going to make it.”

Anne works at Country Express and said her boss was giving her a room for the night at Sun Country Inn; however, beyond that, she is unsure of where and her boys will stay after that. If anyone would like to help the family recouped from their loss, Gonzalez can be reached at 870-784-1166.

One resident awoke to smoke and alerted others who were able to exit the home safely. Photo courtesy of Jeff Bolin

2 comments

  1. An account has been set up at the Union Bank in Mena under “Anne Gonzalez Benefit Account” for anyone willing and able to help

  2. That is so sad! That was our first house and our boys grew up there.

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