Table Rock Landing fire: No major injuries reported in Sunday morning blaze

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Firefighters try to control a blaze Sunday morning at Table Rock Landing in Holiday Island. No major injuries were reported and a cause was undetermined as of Monday afternoon
Photo courtesy of Kelly Roberts

By Samantha Jones and Scott Loftis

No major injuries were reported and a cause was not immediately determined after a large fire broke out early Sunday morning at the Table Rock Landing condominiums in Holiday Island.

Holiday Island fire chief Bob Clave said firefighters received the call around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, saying the fire was already through the roof when emergency personnel arrived on the scene. Clave said the firefighters attacked the fire from below with a ladder truck and from the front with pure manpower. Thanks to the crew’s quick work, Clave said, the fire was under control within two hours. He said it took six hours for the firefighters to clear the scene.

“It’s a four-unit complex, and they saved the other two units,” Clave said. “My guys did a great job.”

Developer Tom Dees, who built the time-share units, said only one of the units in the four-plex where the fire occurred was occupied. He said one of the occupants called 911 after going outside and seeing smoke coming from the building.

One of the reasons only two units burned, Clave said, is because of the way the building was constructed.

“It had a good fire break between each unit. It was resistance to spread in the other two units,” Clave said, “and we got there just in time to stop it from going through that fire wall.”

Clave said the Eureka Springs Fire Department responded to the scene as well.

“We used some of their equipment,” Clave said. “They’re great. We are all small and have limited manpower, so helping each other is the only way we can save structures like this.”

Eureka Springs fire marshal Jim Kelley said it’s important to work together.

“We like working with Holiday Island, as we do with the other local departments around,” Kelley said. “They’re always helping us out, so we help them when we can.”

Kelley said ESFD sent six volunteers and an ambulance crew. One person was treated and released on the scene, Kelley said.

“We helped support what they needed us to do while we were there, whether that was fighting the fire or EMS stuff,” Kelley said.

When it comes to a big structure fire like this, Kelley said, more personnel is always better. Kelley said firefighters must go inside the structure to prevent the fire from growing, saying they have to come outside and take a 20-minute break before re-entering the structure.

“You either go inside to where the fire is, or you just spend hours hosing away the outside until there’s nothing left to burn,” Kelley said. “All our departments try to get inside to get the fire out. That was a pretty good size fire, and it took a lot of manpower.”

Clave said it is the biggest structure fire his firefighters have responded to in a long time. The last structure fire this severe, Clave said, took place nearly three years ago.

“We do not have a lot of big structure fires. We average a fire a year, or probably even less,” Clave said. “Luckily, my guys are dedicated to what they do, and they do it well.”

Clave thanked the Holiday Island community for supporting the fire department.

“We have great support out here at Holiday Island from the community,” Clave said. “That’s what allows us to have the equipment to do what we do. We’re just fortunate to live in this community and have that support.”

Clave said the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

“I was just headed down there to walk through it,” Clave said Monday. “We’re going to begin a formal investigation this afternoon.”

Dees expressed his appreciation for the firefighters. He said there was no estimate on damage as of Monday afternoon.

“We don’t know the loss,” he said.

Table Rock Landing includes 28 units. Dees said the building where Sunday’s fire occurred was built in 1984.

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