BY MELANIE BUCK –
A local family has lost everything due to a fire that began in their home around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19th. The family has four members, including an 11-year old daughter and a 9-month old baby boy, and they are in great need of community support during this difficult time.
Firefighters from Board Camp, Dallas Valley and Ink Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the call where the home was fully engulfed upon arrival. The rock and wooden structured home on Polk Road 691 was a complete loss. The family also lost three vehicles in the fire, leaving them without a home and no transportation. Neighbors reported hearing propane tanks explode and ammunition could be heard popping from the blaze. Polk County EM Coordinator James Reeves said that more than 20,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the flames.
When the fire began, Megan Wooten said she and husband, Pyke Bobo, along with their children had just gotten done eating dinner and were preparing for bed when the fire began in the garage. Megan was trying to put the baby to sleep and their daughter was in the shower and escaped with only a robe; the others with just the clothes on their backs. Megan said she and the children escaped to the balcony, while Pyke made his way out the front door. “We were on the back balcony and Pike ran out the front door. I dropped the baby down to him and then I dropped our daughter to him. Pyke is still in the hospital from smoke inhalation.”
Both Pyke and Megan work at Mena Regional Health System; Pyke as a CRNA and Megan, as a PRN in women’s services, and will need scrubs, shoes, and clothing along with all other household items.
The family is currently staying with Mark and Tammy Hamelink who said a few local ladies purchased the family one outfit each the night of the fire but there are still many needs to be met. “I want to thank the fire departments, ambulance service, the neighbors, most of who we’ve never met, they had blankets and help and hugs, and all the community that has reached out. We are new here and don’t know many people, but we’ve already had so many want to help us,” said a tearful and thankful Megan. “We’ve lost pictures and memories, but we’re ok.”
If you would like to assist the family in any way, you can reach Tammy Hamelink at 479-216-3308 OR a GoFundMe page has been established for the family: https://www.gofundme.com/vnkfcfxz