Fire chief killed during storm in Central Arkansas

CLEBURNE COUNTY, Ark. — The severe storms took the life of a firefighter in Central Arkansas.

According to the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office, Cove Creek/Pearson Fire Chief Doug Deckard died early Sunday morning in an accident that occurred while he was serving his community during the thunderstorm.

It happened as he was checking a particular area, and the sheriff’s office described the storm at that time as “torrential.”

Deckard had been a firefighter for more than four decades, and he was also the coordinator of the Cleburne County Search and Rescue Team.

“He was a wonderful member of our community, and his kindness, work ethic, and enthusiasm will be sorely missed,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post. “His willingness to serve our community should be a shining example to us all.”

Western Cleburne County was under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning late Saturday night with the threat of high winds and small hail. Much of the county was under a Flash Flood Warning throughout early Sunday.