Two Similar Fires in Paragould Within One Week

MARCH 10, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M.

JONESBORO, AR -- It's been a busy week for the Paragould Fire Department. Two fires totally devastated several businesses and one man is dead after today's early morning fire at Holland's Flea Market and Furniture in Downtown Paragould.

"We've been here probably around 12 hours now, 13 hours on Paragould and Pruitt Street. This was Holland Appliance's and Furniture Shop, and we're just finishing up now," says Eddie Brown, Paragould Fire Chief.

Just a week ago today, the Valley South Shopping Center holding 7 businesses burned to the ground leaving one longtime business owner without a job.

"I just want to say thank you for 17 long years...and I will be back," says Cynthia Noblin, Owner of Special Moments.

And today, another business fire, leaving another owner helpless.

"There was nothing anybody could do, the whole building, the ceiling had already fell in when i got there," says Chuck Holland, Owner of Holland's Flea Market.

As to the cause of today's fire...

"We're just gonna check into the cause of it, we don't know yet," says Brown.

Fortunately no one was hurt in the first fire, but that wasn't the case today.

"There was a gentleman that stayed here and was a type of security guard also," says Brown.

The man, who hasn't yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. Although this fire included a fatality, both fires were very similar. Both buildings had apartments attached. Fire officials say last week's fire originated from the apartment unit. But as for today's fire, it's still under investigation.

The Paragould Criminal Investigation Department stated that the family members of the unidentified man have been notified. However, no name has been officially released.

Police say the coroner has sent the body to the state crime lab for identification and autopsy purposes. For more information regarding these two similar fires, stay tuned to K-8 news, as we will be following both stories closely.