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Bella Vista Fire Destroys 3 Businesses

It started with a burglar alarm going off at TH Rogers Lumber Co. in Bella Vista before 2 a.m. Friday.
It started with a burglar alarm going off at TH Rogers Lumber Co. in Bella Vista before 2 a.m. Friday.

By the time fire crews arrived, the lumber company store was half engulfed in flames, threatening the two other businesses connected to the building

"The fuel load was very, very extreme. When you have a hardware store, you have lumber, you have chemicals and all that stuff combined together when it's on fire, it produces a hot fire," Bella Vista Fire Chief Stephen Sims said.

Despite help from several fire departments in Benton County, the flames spread and moved through the Furniture Gallery and Sensibly Chic.

"The building being added on throughout the years made it a little bit more difficult and a little bit more difficult to attack as far as the way the building was designed," Chief Sims said.

About 5 hours later, the flames were out.

Though not much is left of the building, president of TH Rogers Lumber Co., Jonathan Kennedy has dealt with a fire at a different facility before, and knows it could have been worse.

"We're insured, the main thing is everybody's safe, no one was injured, I think the fire fighters did a great job. This is all stuff that can be replaced so we're fine," Kennedy said.

What caused the fire is under investigation. No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. No one, including firefighters, were injured.

Kennedy plans to bring in temporary offices Monday, and later rebuild the business.

Bella Vista Fire crews said the fire could smolder for a week.



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