Dispatcher Answers Husband's 911 Call, Finds Out House is on Fire

Clark County Couple Loses Everything in Weekend Blaze

CLARK COUNTY, Ark. - The husband of a 911 dispatcher called his wife at work to tell her their home is on fire.

The fire broke out Sunday along Highway 26 in Clark county. It destroyed nearly everything that Denise and Cecil Chamberlin owned.
"I don't know if we're going to rebuild or just try to do something else," Denise says Tuesday.

A hen house sits near the home, full of nearly a dozen chickens. Denise routinely checks in with them to retrieve eggs.

"Well. I've got some smoked eggs," Denise says laughing. A burning scent lingers around the home.

Denise remains positive despite what happened over the weekend. She proudly wears a shirt that reads 'Blessed' across the front.

It's a far cry from negative emotions that ran high Sunday. We obtained a copy of the 911 tape between Denise and Cecil in the moments Denise found out her home was up in flames.

Denise: "911, where's your emergency?"
Cecil: "The ******* house is on fire, Denise!
Denise: "OK. I've got 'em coming! Our house?
Cecil: "Yes! It's our house!
Denise: "OK, I've got them coming!"

A call from Cecil was the last thing Denise expected while at work.

"When I toned out those fire departments, it was the hardest thing, Denise says, recalling when she had to dispatch fire crews to her own home.

"I pushed the button, and I kind of cracked and I said, 'My house is on fire.'"

Fire departments came from neighboring districts; mostly volunteers.

"Even Caddo Valley, which is on the other side of the county, had officers that had their turnouts," Denise says.

"And, they came here because they know my voice on the radio and that's it."

Denise says they are fortunate to be alive. She stays positive despite the circumstances.

"Happy wasn't going to come find me. I had to go find happy," Denise says.

"And, I look for it every day."

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