Fire Sweeps Through Shopping Center---Nothing Salvaged

March 4, 2006 -- 6:20 PM CST

PARAGOULD -- The Vally South Shopping Center in Paragould is a shopping center that many Paragould residents will miss. The shopping center fell victim to a fire friday night, and residents and business owners are feeling the pain.

"There were a lot of shops in here," said Charles M. Roe of Paragould . "I wouldn't have a way of estimating how much, but it's way up there…more than I can really comprehend."

Flames swept through the building when the apartment attached to the shopping center caught fire. "The gentlemen who lived in the apartment did wake up, and said that when he woke up there was a lot of smoke in the room," said Captain Kevin Lang of the Paragould Fire Department .

The smoke that came from the apartment soon turned into burnt orange flames. Firemen were still at hard work saturday morning to ensure that all the hot-spots were completely out.

"We'll actually go back this afternoon to double check it just to make sure," said Lang. "It really can't go anywhere, but we'll go back several times just to make sure it's out.

There was an extensive amount of damage done to the 80-foot deep building. Although no one was injured in the fire, a mass amount of possessions were lost, and there may be a few broken hearts.

The only thing left to salvage are memories. "The gentleman who lived in the apartment actually came back out this morning. He is fine, so that's the good part," said Lang. The gentleman may be fine, but last night will be a night he'll never forget.