Residents concerned about homes, property during field fire

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The large field fire in Paragould Tuesday afternoon quickly started moving towards houses because of the wind and dry conditions.

Around four dozen homes were evacuated on Locust Street, Pearl Street, and Vine Street.

Shantel Benham lives two houses away from the field. She and her husband called the fire department to alert them.

Benham said she was terrified when she saw the smoke and flames.

"He just busted in the door and said get the animals and get out, the field is on fire," Benham said. "We don't know what is going on and frankly we're just worried about our house."

Benham said she got her family, dog, and cat out of the house and away from the fire as quickly as they could.

She was also thankful for the fire department and rescue squad's fast response.

Another man who was on the scene, Ricky Betts, said his mother lives close to the field.

"When I brought my mom something to drink on my lunch break I saw that the field was on fire," Betts said. "So I parked my car where I thought was far enough away from the fire."

The shop he ended up parking in front of, at the corner of Locust Street and 6th Avenue, caught on fire.

When Betts came back to make sure his mom, stepdad, and grandmother got out safely, there was no time to move the car.

"I turned around and there was a police officer at the door who said 'save your family or go get the car,'" he said. "It looks like it's okay at the moment but as long as everyone's alright that's what really matters."

Firefighters were actually using the car as a shield at one point because it was said that the shop was full of propane tanks that were in danger of blowing up.

Betts was eventually able to go back and get his car. The shop was a total loss, though.


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