Fire In Downtown Newark Destroys One Business

May 11, 2006 -- Posted at 4:15 p.m. CDT


NEWARK, AR -- An early morning fire inNewark leaves one business destroyed, and another with smoke and water damage.

The fire began sometime early Thursday morning in the small Independence County town.

Volunteer firefighters from all around Newark helped put out on the fire.

“We got a call about 1:00 a.m. to come down.  The Victorian Lamp Company was on fire… that’s above our building,” said Business Owner Denny Gipson.

Gipson has been in this location for over 8 years.

“We ended up with a lot of fire damage, water damage, smoke damage.  It's going to be pretty extensive,” said Gipson.

Gipson owns the bottom half of the building, which is a furniture and appliance store.

“The wall is going to have to come down.  It really depends on how much destruction happens after that, but we’re probably looking at $400,000 to $600,000 before it’s all over with,” said Gipson.

“Right now, we’re just making sure the structure is sound enough to send our firemen in there and work the hot-spots over so we can start our investigation,” said Newark Fire Chief James Langston.

Because of the shaky status of the building, Langston said they haven’t been able to determine the cause of the fire.


“It’s still smoldering at this time.  There are a lot of hot-spots under the roof that fell in,” said Langston.

Langston says at this point, the firefighters and the owners of the building are taking care of what's happening right now.

“I personally spoke with both owners.  Their concern is just public safety right now,” said Langston.

One wall of the building is bending slightly, so the owner of the Victorian Lamp Company is having a wrecking ball brought in to take that wall down.