Early-morning fire awakens Liberty community

Residents in the Liberty community were awakened early Sunday morning to the sound of a boom, flames and sirens. At about 6 a.m., a house at 9 Liberty Creek Road went up in smoke.

“I was sleeping in and we were woke up by a big explosion,” said a neighbor, Tammy Chance. “I got up and looked through the window and all I could see was a huge glow.”

Located about four miles outside of Vilonia, both Liberty Fire Department and Vilonia Fire Department responded.

The house, Chance said, had been sitting empty for more than a year.

The elderly woman previously living in it died and no one has lived there since.

Another neighbor busted the door before it was totally engulfed hollering inside. It appeared no one was inside, Chance said the neighbor told her. However, according to the neighbor, there were several items inside.

Neighbors speculated an oxygen bottle may have ignited.

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