BY MELANIE WADE –
A mobile home was lost to fire Wednesday morning in Mena. Polk County’s 911 Dispatch received a call and paged out the Mena Fire Department at 9:02 a.m. to respond to a structure fire at 2201 Edwards Street.
The home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on the scene. Mena Fire Department had eleven personnel on scene and their quick work quenched the flames shortly; however, the home was deemed a complete loss.
Assistant Fire Chief Charles Hankins said the fire is believed to have started in the center of the home around the living room/kitchen area. No one was at home when the fire began.
The family of the home, which included a man, woman, and little boy, have lost all of their belongings and also lost their family dog, their cat, and their family rat. “We had our rat for two years and he was like Riley’s baby. I think that is what is making this the hardest…clothes are replaceable… it’s the loss of life,” said resident, Courtney Bledsoe.
She admitted feeling lost over the loss of their home and animals. “We’ve never been in a situation like this so we don’t know where to go from here. We’ve lost everything.”
While her home was burning, Bledsoe’s boyfriend, James Murchinson, who works as a logger, was in the woods and couldn’t get home quickly. “James was at work and I was just standing there watching our house burn. I really appreciate the police chief, he talked to me the whole time while I was watching my house burn. He called a pastor to help us and it went from there. We wouldn’t be getting half the help we are if he hadn’t been there. I was lost and didn’t know where to go and he pushed me the direction I needed to go.”
Although the family has a place to stay for tonight, they don’t know where life will lead from here. If you would like to assist the family, you can make a donation to James Murchinson or Courtney Bledsoe at Union Bank.
If you have clothes or other items to donate, you can call Courtney 479-234-8322. Clothing sizes are: James – size 36 x 32 jeans, XL shirts, size 9 1/2 shoe; Courtney – size 24 jeans, 2X shirts, size 9 ½ shoes; Riley – size 5 jeans, size 4-5 shirts; size 11 shoes.