Around 2:25 yesterday I received a call to listen to my scanner because The Other Side was on fire in Wilburn. I turned up the scanner just in time to hear the all page go out to the county. I grabbed my backpack and ran out the door. My camera was already in the car. I tore out and headed towards Wilburn. I could see black smoke coming from that direction.

When I arrived on scene, there was one other fire truck there. There was black billowing smoke rolling out of the two story building that was the gym (old and new), shop and classrooms. It wasn’t too long and here came more firefighters. Before the end of the night there would be responders from Wilburn, Heber Springs, Pine Snag Lobo, Greers Ferry, Concord, Pangburn, Hopewell, Cove Creek Pearson, Rose Bud, Letona, Fairview, Albion, Hickory Flat,Drasco, Prim and Tumbling Shoals/Ida to fight this awful fire. I shot some very good video of the fire and was contacted yesterday afternoon from Channel 4/16 and Channel 7 to get permission to use my video.

I must admit, I was amazed at the communities response, not just the firefighters either. The Pangburn school sent over water, Ricky Davis, owner of Sonic, sent about 70 burgers for the first responders. Pizza Pie-zazz sent over about 25 pizzas.  I saw ladies delivering desserts also.

I took several videos and uploaded 99 photos. One of the photos has a fiery cross in the middle of it. When I saw it, I totally got goosebumps! After showing it to Jay Cupit, he asked me to show it to the residents to encourage them. Of course I did. And it did encourage the residents, I think. At one point the residents gathered in the chapel to pray and to sing praises to God. Oh, and they were doing this by flashlight and phone light since the power was off because of the fire.

I have to say I was overwhelmed at the response of the fire departments. We should be very proud of the men and women who put their lives on the line fighting fires. We should all be proud of our fire departments.

The worst thing about the fire is the fact that they were not insured. As Jay told me it costs upwards of $20,000 a month to maintain The Other Side and there just isn’t enough left over to pay for insurance. I have no doubt that our community will come together though.

Don’t forget Sunday is Veterans Day. There will be a Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Spring Park at 11 a.m. with Ret. Col. Anita Deason as the guest speaker. At 3 p.m. on the Cleburne County Courthouse lawn there will be the Field of Heroes ceremony.

Until next time...