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Gassville fire claims life of local business owner

Tragedy has struck Gassville after Jamie Lynn Owen confirmed in a social media post on Monday the death of her father, Jerry Owen, in the Sunday blaze that destroyed Folk Art Antiques near the city limits of Gassville on U.S. Highway 62/412 West.

The fire started around 8 p.m. on Sunday and saw 70 firefighters from 10 separate departments throughout Baxter County come together to fight the blaze. The flames damaged several other buildings, including Montgomery Heating and Aire.

A photo of Jerry Owen, owner of Folk Art Antiques. Photo by Jamie Lynn Owen.

“Around 8 p.m. tonight, my dad, Jerry Owen died when his home business burned to the ground,” said Jamie Lynn Owen in a Facebook post. “There were 10 departments and 70 firefighters on scene, and I thank everyone that was involved. I also thank everyone in Gassville and Mtn Home area for trying to reach me before I saw the pictures online and in the media. I am truly heartbroken right now. I talked to my dad almost every day. I already feel his absence, and to lose him like this is almost unbearable.”

Owen’s body was discovered in the back of his home/business after crews worked their way inside. He was collected by the Baxter County Coroner and transported to Little Rock for examination by State Crime Lab.

Gassville Fire Chief Michael Glotzl credited the Baxter County Tanker Task Force as a key factor in putting out the blaze. The location of the fire had little limited water for firefighters to use, and the tanker gave firefighters the water pressure needed to fight the fire.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, both the main structure, a car, and a propane tank were already ablaze. Glotzl said the intensity of the fire and the wind direction led to a focused effort to stop the fire from spreading to other structures.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but no foul play has been found at this time.

Photos from Jamie Lynn Owen’s Facebook and 101 Gamaliel Fire Protection District #5.

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