Accident brings out best in people

accident brings out the best in people

While responding to a gas leak call, members of the Morris Chapel Fire Department showed a local woman that kindness and compassion are still alive and well in Benton County.

According to Morris Chapel Fire Chief Rob Barker, a call about a gas leak came in through dispatch on Sunday, September 30. Barker along with Captain Patrick Presson responded to the call. Once the two men arrived at the residence at 154 Sunset Lane, they realized there was a bigger issue.

Barker said that while recovering from knee replacement surgery, Jackie Hargis’ husband had issues with braking in his vehicle causing it to careen into the couple’s home. After careful inspection, the firemen found no gas leak in the home, but extensive damage where the car had driven into the laundry room and garage.

Barker said the couple was completely distraught because they did not have insurance and saw no way to get their house back in order.

Barker said he couldn’t just leave the couple in that condition and immediately called on some friends to assist. He called Roger Rochelle who is building Camden Bottoms Barbecue and Fish Restaurant just down the way on Highway 70 from Morris Chapel Fire Department. Rochelle loaded up building supplies along with his friend and fellow craftsman, John Reynolds and rushed to the scene. Meanwhile, a couple more firefighters responded including, Lieutenant Stephanie Popejoy and Jeremy Scott.

The crew made quick work of rebuilding the walls and fixing the plumbing issues caused by the accident.

After spending their Sunday rebuilding the garage and laundry room, Barker asked for donations of a washing machine and dryer via social media. He said, “We just wanted to help out any way we could.”

Hargis was overjoyed.

Barker said, “In life, helping out is what it is all about. We spent our whole day helping someone in need and for all of us involved, there was no place we had rather been.”


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