Massive fire burns at Arkansas transformation ministry building

(Photo: Nichole Brooke Fleming)

A massive fire broke out Wednesday in Cleburne County at The Other Side, a transformation ministry focused on helping those with drug and alcohol addictions.

The Heber Springs Sun Times reports the fire started at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Jay Cupit with The Other Side tells KATV that there are seven buildings on campus and one of them - a gymnasium - was destroyed. No one was inside at the time.

"It was just like a sinking feeling, it was just like a gut-punch," said Cupit, recalling how he felt when he rolled up on the building engulfed in flames.

"We had all the stuff that we were using in our thrift store to kind of support our ministry, we were housing it in there," said Cupit. "We just had two big donations given to us of furniture and the like - it was all stored in here and it's gone."

Cupit said the building had been there since the 40s or 50s and they were using it for storage and ballgames. He said some schools around the area used it as their gyms and that losing it will be hurtful to the community.

He confirmed they did not have insurance on the building.

The Sun Times reports the department response to the fire was overwhelming with authorities from Wilburn, Greers Ferry, Heber Springs, Concord, Fairview, Albion, Tumbling Shoals, Pearson, Hopewell, Rosebud and Hickory Flatt fire departments all on the scene.

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