MULBERRY, Ark. (KFSM) — A van carrying four military families household items as they moved across the country caught fire on I-40 in Mulberry, destroying almost everything inside.
Tom Woodford is the father of one of the military members. He said his son is grateful for everything the city of Mulberry did to help salvage some of his belongings from the fire.
"I mean, he was also very impressed that the mayor of the town reached out and called him and the police informed him, and just the outpouring of thoughts and assistance really gave him a good feeling," said Woodford.
Matthew Woodford just finished his naval flight training in Jacksonville, Florida, before moving to Whidbey Island in Washington, where he will report for duty.
But last Friday, on his 27th birthday, he was notified that the van moving his belongings across the country caught fire in Mulberry, Arkansas.
The Mulberry Fire Chief Jeff Marvin says the fire spread quickly and took 5-6 hours to be extinguished completely.
"We got a call of a truck that had trailer brakes on fire, and when we got there, the brakes were on the fire and had spread to the tires and already spreading to the interior of the trailer," said Marvin.
Marvin says the firefighters and police officers of Mulberry went above and beyond to try and save everything they could for these families.
"You know they are protecting us, and their stuff is on a truck line getting taken across the United States and just happens to be in the small town of Mulberry where their truck catches on fire, and were just glad we are able to give something back to them by salvaging some of there products and some of the materials," said Marvin.
Matthew's father says he is very lucky that everything in the truck is replaceable.
"Fortunately, most of the stuff he cares about is with him. So the stuff that can't be replaced doesn't have to be," said Woodford.