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Sheridan apartment complex fire kills woman, displaces about 25 people

by Remington Miller | June 22, 2022 at 4:04 p.m.
A NEBCO Fire Department truck is shown in this 2017 file photo.

A fire at a Sheridan apartment complex on Monday killed one person, injured two others and left all 12 units uninhabitable, according to the chief of the Sheridan Fire Department.

The victim was a 67-year-old woman, Sheridan Fire Chief Ben Hammond said Wednesday. Two other people suffered from minor burns and smoke inhalation, but both have been discharged, Hammond added.

One of the units in the Birchwood Apartments, located on the 900 block of North Main Street less than a mile north of U.S. 270, caught fire. Hammond said the blaze spread to the rest of the complex, leaving all 12 units affected by some combination of fire, smoke and water damage.

Hammond said foul play is not suspected, but the cause of the fire was uncertain as of Wednesday.

“The apartment of [the fire’s] origin’s smoke alarm was not in the position it should have been,” he said, “It is important to have working smoke alarms that are installed correctly. I wholeheartedly believe that would have helped.” 

The Arkansas chapter of the American Red Cross is providing some assistance to those displaced by the fire. 

John Brimley, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross chapters in the state, said the Arkansas chapter has already assisted nine families. The funds provided can go toward recovery, new clothes and finding somewhere to stay.  

The Arkansas Family and Resource Center of Grant County is also providing families with necessities, according to Laurie Welch, the executive director of the nonprofit. 

Welch said on Wednesday that the center has helped at least 12 families that were displaced. 

“We help them find a place and pay the deposit and three months rent,” she said. “The problem is that there is no place to rent here.” 

The center has been able to provide clothes and food to those in need. According to Welch, the center will even help provide furniture once they have found a place to say, thought it has run out of beds and box springs. 

“I know I have some on the way, but not enough for 12 families,” Welch said. 

Welch added that the Sheridan community has been able to provide a lot through donations. 

“They all pulled together and helped in numerous ways,” she said.

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