Update: House fire claims life of Conway man

Off-duty fire office spotted blaze

Final update:

Tom Southerland, 63, of Conway, died from injuries sustained in a house fire Sunday night at 3385 Arkansas 25 near Blaney Hill Road, authorities said.

The fire was discovered around 8 o’clock. Pulaski County Coroner Gerome Hobbs said Southerland died just after midnight from multiple burns.

Southerland was first taken to Conway Regional Medical Center. He was then transported to Arkansas Children’s Hospital at Little Rock, where he died, authorities said.

Capt. Phil Kirkland, an off-duty Conway fire officer, spotted the fire while he was on his way home.

“We’ve had several calls for this (Southerland) address recently and (Kirkland) happened to glance over there out of habit,” Fire Chief Bart Castleberry said. “He noticed fire in the living room window and in the attic.”

Castleberry said Kirkland saw a woman standing on the porch asked her to move to safety. The woman, whom authorities did not identify, told Kirkland that Southerland was inside the residence.

“At that time, Conway (police) arrived and escorted her off of the porch and away from the fire,” Castleberry said.

The woman was not injured, authorities said.

La Tresha Woodruff, Conway police public information officer, said the department is not conducting a criminal investigation.

Conway Fire Marshal Kenny Weidower said the cause of the fire was still under investigation late Monday.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)



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