By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – A single family home in Hot Springs was completely destroyed in a fire, which broke out just after midnight on the night of Saturday, July 14, and then burned well into the early morning of Sunday, July 15.
The home, registered to the late Donna Dryden, was located at 1741 University Avenue, next to Barnyard Veterinary Clinic across the street from Hot Springs High School’s football field.
According to Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dar Coy, the fire is believed to have started somewhere in the back of the one-level structure with the official cause as “unknown.” There was also a basement in the structure, but no garage. Coy said by the time his personnel arrived, the home was completely engulfed making it impossible for them to save any of the building or any of its contents. He said there were also a few cars parked near the home which sustained significant fire damage as well.
Five individuals were home at the time of the fire, including three adults and two children, according to Hot Springs Police Chief Mike Close. None of them were harmed, and all were taken to shelter for the night in a local motel by a family friend.
Close said the family dog however did parish in the flames. He added that the Red Cross was planning to meet with the family to discuss additional needs.
A total of 16 members of the Hot Springs VFD responded to the call late that night. According to the incident report, crews initially responded at 12:15 a.m on July 15 and worked through 4 a.m. They then returned for a “rekindle” at 5:40 a.m to 9 a.m. to ensure the contents of the home were fully consumed to prevent anything causing additional issues to nearby property.
Coy was not certain if the homeowners had insurance, but said that the State Fire Marshal was contacted and he said that since there was no loss of human life, there would not be an investigation into the cause. Without a need for an investigation may indicate the lack of insurance.
Photo courtesy Kody Hagen
A home owned by the late Donna Dryden, located at 1741 University Avenue in Hot Springs, caught fire and burned to the ground in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 15.