Separate house fires in Pine Bluff left two people dead, authorities reported Thursday.
On Wednesday night, a 3-year-old boy was killed in a fire at home in the 1000 block of South Wisconsin Street. Pine Bluff Fire Chief Shawn Howell said that foul play is not suspected but an investigation is underway. Howell said that a second child and two adults made it out of the burning house. It is believed that the fire started about 10 p.m. in an upstairs bedroom area.
On Monday, an 80-year-old woman died from injuries she suffered in a blaze three days earlier, the fire department reported. The fire, which happened the afternoon of March 27 at 23 Smugglers Lane, was reportedly caused by a pot left unattended on a stove. It was ruled accidental.
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A newly formed task force is asking for contributions of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment for local public safety workers.
The NWA Covid-19 Task Force is made up of school, city, county, state, fire, police and first-responder representatives, according to a news release. The group has held virtual meetings since March 16. Monday's meeting drew more than 120 officials from Benton and Washington counties, Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins said.
Jenkins received calls from people who want to donate items, and this effort will centralize donations instead of coming in piecemeal across the two counties.
There's limited availability of personal protective equipment because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release.
"While the federal government has begun funneling protective equipment supplies, our area is receiving very little. All hospitals, clinics, and first-responder stations have little if any of what they need to protect their workers," Rose Corscadden, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance communications director, said.
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette