THE TINY COMMUNITY OF HOUSTON, ARKANSAS, (Pop. 1,700) is suddenly without a fire department after the fire chief and practically every member of the volunteer fire company quit last week.
Fire Chief Scott Erwin resigned in protest over the town council’s appointment of Jerry Lawson to fill a vacant seat on the council. Following his lead, nearly every member of the VFD also left the department leaving the town without a fire department.
Their public explanation for their action is that they are concerned about a “conflict of interest” due to Lawson’s wife serving as the town’s Secretary-Treasurer. Taking into consideration the small size of the community, Firegeezer speculates that there is a strong resistance to this political move because of a more private reason.
Houston’s mayor has vetoed the appointment, but the council has the option of overriding the veto and voting Lawson into office next month. Weighing in on the controversy, Lawson stated that the firefighters “…. just need to grow up a little.”
Neighboring FD’s are providing coverage to fill the emergency needs of Houston while this saga plays out.
KATV Ch. 7 Little Rock has the story HERE.