Bella Vista homeowners are uprooting their families and putting their houses up for sale due to growing ‘stump dump’ concerns.
It has been almost eight months since the Trafalgar Road fire started burning but Aaron Decelle remembers it like it was yesterday, “I I remember that day vividly. I looked up and it almost looked like it was snowing, it was ash. It was coming down but it was coming down so thick and it looked like it was snowing.”
Just down the street from the Decelle family’s home is the stump dump. Residents say taping down windows and doors, and spending thousands of dollars on air purifiers just isn’t enough anymore. Now the Decelle’s are ready to say goodbye to their home.
“We can sit here and endure and the accumulated effects of breathing in that smoke could harm my three children, or we can put this house on the market and move.”
Realtors like Tara Limbird from Limbird Real Estate say residents should hold tight on selling for now.
“It’s kind of like when the stock market goes down a little bit. Maybe the worst thing you can do is sell everything that you’ve got. Sit tight, wait and make a wise decision.”
The Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors is encouraging sellers to tell all potential buyers about the stump dump to avoid any possible legal issues.
“You’re never going to over disclose too much information, so it’s better to have that on there. I wouldn’t think that this is something that’s ongoing forever but it is an issue right now,” Limbird said.
Decelle claims disclosing the stump dump on his listing has made it almost impossible to sell his home.
“What we were told is this stump dump fire is having an impact on the sale of our home. The feedback that our realtor was getting was that the stump dump was a contributing factor on why their clients weren’t interested in our home.”
Although strides have been made to put out the fire, Decelle says he has waited long enough.
“I would like to think it’s going to be put out soon but at the same token, I have 3 kids that are depending on me. I can try to sell my house and go somewhere safe now or hope that it will be out. But what if it isn’t?” Decelle said.
UPDATE: Many other residents have reached out saying they have put their homes on the market to escape the fire, or are looking into if and when they can sell. Residents are encouraged to reach out to local realtors or the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors for more information before listing.