Jesse Evans, Editor | Hempstead Herald

A Hope woman was thankful her family was safe after a fire caused heavy damage to her home Thursday night.

Margie Reed, her daughter Rachel Newsom and five of her grandchildren (age 2 months to 14 years) were in their house around midnight when she said they woke up to a sound coming from their attic. Margie said she opened the attic to take a look and saw heavy smoke. They called 911 as she and her daughter immediately got the children out of the house.

The Hope Fire Department and Hope Police Department were called to the scene. When they arrived, steady smoke could be seen coming from the attic on the south side of the house. The gray smoke steadily grew thicker and darker and began to find other exits from the house. When the vent on the attic was removed,  large flames rolled out and the fire quickly breached the roof.

Hempstead County Deputies and an Arkansas State Trooper also responded to the scene and assisted Hope Police in shutting down Main Street for about an hour as firefighters had to run hoses to a hydrant across the street.

A firefighter was briefly overcome by the heat and was checked out by a crew from Pafford EMS. The firefighter wasn’t transported and was able to return to working the fire after a brief rest. Pafford remained on standby and provided drinking water for the firefighters.

Perrytown and Southeast Fire Departments were called out to assist but Hope Fire Department had the fire under control as they arrived on scene. All responders were able to clear the scene by about 1:30 a.m.

Margie and her children gathered across the street from her home and watched and prayed together. Although her home was heavily damaged, Margie smiled and pointed to her family and said everything important to her was out of the house.

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