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Jonesboro Family Moves Forward After Fire Destroys Business

Two fires sparked in Jackson Parish Sunday night, one of them destroying a decades-old family business.
Jonesboro is recovering after a Sunday night fire at Pardue Building Supply (Alanna Quillen, KTVE, KARD)
Jonesboro is recovering after a Sunday night fire at Pardue Building Supply (Alanna Quillen, KTVE, KARD)
Chatham residents recovering after a fire burned in the Hungry Logger Restaurant Sunday Night (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Chatham residents recovering after a fire burned in the Hungry Logger Restaurant Sunday Night (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Chatham residents recovering after a fire burned in the Hungry Logger Restaurant Sunday Night (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Chatham residents recovering after a fire burned in the Hungry Logger Restaurant Sunday Night (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Jonesboro is recovering after a Sunday night fire at Pardue Building Supply (Alanna Quillen, KTVE, KARD)
Jonesboro is recovering after a Sunday night fire at Pardue Building Supply (Alanna Quillen, KTVE, KARD)
Jonesboro is recovering after a Sunday night fire at Pardue Building Supply (Alanna Quillen, KTVE, KARD)
Jonesboro is recovering after a Sunday night fire at Pardue Building Supply (Alanna Quillen, KTVE, KARD)
JACKSON PARISH -- Two fires sparked in Jackson Parish Sunday night, one of them destroying a decades-old family business.

The first fire started just before 6 p.m. Sunday at the Pardue Builders Supply in Jonesboro. Another started just hours later in nearby Chatham at a closed down restaurant.

No injuries reported in either fire. But now one Jonesboro family is trying to move forward from the devastation.

Sunday night, Larry Pardue watched decades of memories in his family business burn to ruins.

"It was disheartening," said Pardue. "It broke my heart to see a lot of hard work went into this business, and it was all gone."

Pardue Builders Supply of Jonesboro has been in business since 1970 -- now it's a gutted shell.

Next to his father, Larry's son Bubba watched dozens of firefighters battle the blaze. Bubba now owns the family business alongside his siblings and family friend.

"It was totally in flames when I got here," he said.

Larry said he's grateful no one was inside when the fire broke out.

"It's remarkable, there was probably 50 firemen here," he said.

It took about nine hours until the final few hot spots were extinguished.

"Had a lot of supporters," said co-owner Sonny Stephens. "Those people that came out last night, they were not just sightseers, they were supporters."

"I appreciate the community for what they've done. Really made me feel good that I have friends," said Larry.

A few hours later, another fire sparked in nearby Chatham at a the Hungry Logger Cafe. The building has been vacant for about a year.

"It was a restaurant at one time and they went out of business. It's been vacant ever since," said Danny Peel, fire chief for the Fire Protection District Ward 3 in Jackson Parish. He said his crews responded quickly to put the fire out.

Fire investigators say the fire in Chatham started toward the back of the building. Utilities were not connected.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported in either fire.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshals office spent the day combing through debris to find answers. Accelerant detection dogs were also brought in to help with the continuing investigation.

Although both fires sparked in within hours of each other in the same parish, fire officials say they don't believe there's a connection at this point.

For the Pardue family, nothing is salvageable except for a few family photos.

They're ready to keep the family legacy going and not let the fire bring them down.

"We're planning on rebuilding just as quickly as we can," said Stephens. "We're just going to move forward, we're not going to back up."

They even plan on setting up shop again later this week.

"Hopefully Thursday, we're going to have a makeshift office, no later than Friday. We'll be back and rolling," said Bubba.

Just as quickly as it was taken away, the Pardue business plans to bounce back and serve the community, just as it always has.

"We're just going continue what we've been doing, and work hard. And just make a go of it. We've got families to support and we've got a lot of people that depend on us," said Bubba.

"This is just something that's going to slow us down, and we're gonna be bigger and better," said Stephens.

The State Fire Marshals office is continuing their investigation to determine a cause.

The Pardue family says luckily, firefighters were able to salvage several storage units full of lumber and other building supplies, which were untouched by the fire.
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