The same day an elderly woman died in a Pea Ridge mobile home fire, friends and neighbors said they will never forget the 84-year-old Eva Simpson.
Simpson died Tuesday afternoon in her home on Arkansas Highway 94 in Benton County following what firefighters suspect was likely an electrical fire in the back side of her home. A passerby saw the flames and tried to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, only to be injured and transported to Mercy Hospital in Rogers with burns and effects of smoke inhalation, according to the Pea Ridge Fire Department.
In addition to the county coroner, firefighters and at least one ambulance from Rogers also responded to the scene just off of Highway 94 in Benton County.
John Easley told 5NEWS he had known Simpson for 35 years. When he saw emergency crews at Simpson’s home, he did not know what was happening.
“I didn’t know. I wondered if she was even home, but it’s too bad,” Easley said. “She was a very nice lady, a good neighbor. We always appreciated her and enjoyed her.”
Simpson’s family visited the home after the deadly fire, while Simpson’s body was taken away by the county coroner.
Easley said he and his wife used to visit the victim.
“But I’m so sorry it happened,” he said. “We will miss her.”
Pea Ridge Fire Chief Frank Rizzio said the would-be rescuer called 911 at about 2:30 p.m. before trying to extinguish the fire himself.
“Broke into a back door, made forcible entry, brought in a garden hose, did a considerable amount of firework before the fire department got here, and the fire department was here within three minutes,” Rizzio said.
Fire crews believe the flames were caused by an electrical fire.
“There’s one portion in the hallway that has some damage to an electrical circuit,” Rizzio said. “We’re pinning it on that right now.”
Authorities said Simpson lived alone. Easley said her husband died a few years ago.