Caraway fire chief says they will learn from deadly fire

Fire Fighters responds to fatal fire
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

CARAWAY, AR (KAIT) - Caraway Fire Chief Brad Walling said they will use what they learned from Monday's fatal fire to be more prepared for future emergencies.

The cause of the fire that killed 53-year-old LaDonna Sneed is still under investigation, according to Walling.

Tuesday, he reflected on the response time from his crew.

He said it took 7 minutes for two of his men to get to the scene.

Within 15 minutes, other surrounding fire crews arrived.

Walling told Region 8 News that is a great response time; however, he said being a volunteer fire department comes with obstacles of having enough men.

"It's always a possibility that you'll need more help, especially during the daytime when people are at work," Walling said.

He said Monday was a circumstance where there were not enough people there in time, but said it would have made no difference on the outcome.

"We have about 20 people on our fire department at this time," Walling said. "It's just a matter of them being in town. Just like yesterday, we call other departments."

Before the fire departments arrived, Garry Toombs, Sneed's neighbor said he did everything he could to save her.

"I came around and ran across the road to help," Toombs said. "I came up and got to the door way and I could see her laying there. I reached down to touch her hand and it was so hot I couldn't get her. I could tell she was already gone."

Although it was an unfavorable outcome, Walling said he was proud of his crew for working as hard as they could.

"As a department we will try to have a better solution to have more personnel but it was such an unpredictable scenario that we had yesterday," he added. "We will use it to be more prepared in the future."

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