An overnight fire destroyed three businesses in Bella Vista.
Eight fire departments worked to put out the flames for more than five hours Friday morning (May 2).
According to fire crews on scene, the flames sparked at TH Rogers Lumber Company around 2 a.m. The flames then traveled to a neighboring furniture and clothing store.
According to Benton County Emergency Management officials, Carroll Electric shut off power to people in the east side of town for a short time as a precaution due to a transmission line being close to the fire. Power was restored around 5:45 a.m.
Fire Chief Stephen Sims said, “Fire would get into the lines and cause the lines to go down. We didn’t want that to happen so we had to shut off while the fire was being fought.”
Robin Mitchell is the manager of the boutique Sensibly Chic.
“It’s devastating, it’s absolutely devastating,” Mitchell said. “There are no words for it.”
The owner of the boutique also owns the furniture store. They lost everything.
“There’s a little bit out there, but it’s all smokey,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think anything came out.”
TH Rogers Lumber Company will be rebuilt. Jonathan Kennedy, president and general manager, said they were able to save their lumber. Employees were making lumber delivery, according to Kennedy.
“We’re going to be open to the public a little bit of a limited nature but we are going to be open,” Kennedy said. We’re going to get this all cleared off as soon as possible and build right back.”
“We love being in Bella Vista and plan to be here for a long time,” Kennedy said.
Two ladder trucks sprayed water from above, while crews worked on the ground to control the flames. Firefighters from Avoca, Bentonville, Pea Ridge, Gravette, Centerton, Little Flock and Highfill were also on scene.
No injuries were reported.
Traffic along Highway 71 in Bella Vista were moving slow due to the location of the fire.
TH Rogers Lumber Company is a full service building materials supplier, according to their website. They have 34 locations in four states, including in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
All three businesses have insurance. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.