A retirement ceremony was held Monday for Searcy Fire Department Battalion Chief Eddie J. Hollis a week before his final day after 31 years with the department.
Hollis told The Daily Citizen on Friday afternoon that he had two shifts left and will officially start retirement at 7 a.m. Monday when his last shift is over.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Hollis, 62, said about his retirement. “You talk about it for a while and then it’s five years, then three years, one year and then six months. and here it is I got two shifts left.” His biggest enjoyment of his career, he said, has been serving the community and getting to know people all over the state and country and making “good long friendships and lifelong friendships. We have a family atmosphere at the firehouse.”
Over his years of service, Hollis has fought several commercial fires he remembers that were big, but “one of the main ones [about seven years ago] started as a fire and ended up being a hazmat scene.”
A fire at Green Tree Lodge RV Park completely destroyed the structure and skipped over Highway 62 to start another fire across the road, but no one was injured in either blaze.
According to Eureka Springs fire chief Nick Samac, firefighters responded to a structure fire at 595 W. Van Buren at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, where high winds and dry conditions caused the fire to advance quickly through the single-story, multi-use building. Samac said part of the building was used for apartments. The structure was a complete loss, Samac said, along with six vehicles that were parked in front of it.
Because the structure sits so close to the highway, Samac said, winds carried heavy smoke and embers across the roadway to create a dangerous situation that forced firefighters to close Highway 62 until they could get the fire under control.
Lovely County Citizen
It's Thanksgiving, you've got a turkey in the oven, two pots and two pans on the stove and your crazy uncle Al is about to jump off the roof into the pool. You may be sorely tempted to go watch crazy uncle Al's antics, but don't.
Thanksgiving sees the largest number of home kitchen fires all year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, according to the NFPA.
The leading cause of those fires was inattention. That's why you should just wait to see the cell phone video someone took of your crazy uncle Al. You need to stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on what's cooking. The popularity of deep frying turkeys is on the rise, according to Fire Marshal Gary Pyszka with the Mountain Home Fire Department. There are safety measures Pyszka likes to see used when frying a turkey.