Searcy Still Looking For A Temporary Home For The City's Main Fire Station

February 04, 2005 -- Posted at 9:30 p.m. CST

SEARCY, AR -- The smell of this burned building still lingers in the crisp afternoon air in Searcy Arkansas.

Just over a week ago, a fire swept through the city's central fire station.

Luckily, they were able to remove around $75,000 of fire fighting equipment.

Phil Watkins is the city's fire marshall.

"We have equipment stored all over town. Generous people have donated buildings. We have got at least 4 or 5 locations where this piece, or that piece is stored. Also, things that were taken from the burned building are all around,"said Watkins.

Watkins says the main goal now is to get all of the equipment back in one place.

Right now, Station 3 is serving as the city's main department.

Getting things organized is top priority for Searcy Mayor, Belinda LaForce.

"We started our negotiations as far as meeting and trying to put some thoughts together that night at midnight. We started putting together what our needs were,"said Watkins.

Now, the question is where will the fire station temporarily call home?

One option was the Atlas Carriers Building, but at a meeting late this evening, council members decided to keep looking.

Fortunately, much of the the fire equipment was saved from the blaze, but the sentimental value of the burned building, and what remains inside, is priceless.

"We had a battalion chief that died a couple of years ago, and we had pictures of him. All except for one....they were all lost. Items like that are irreplaceable,"said Watkins.