SHANNON HILLS, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Shannon Hills community is hoping for answers on Thursday after its former police chief was killed in a house fire overnight.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, calls started coming in to 911 about a house fire on Charlotte Drive in Shannon Hills.

"We tried throwing a rock through the door to get in to save him, or see if there's anything we can do. It was already gone by then,” said neighbor Stormy Stevens.

Inside the home was 52-year-old Bobby Hale, the former Police Chief of Shannon Hills.

"I ran out and told my husband the house across the street is on fire, we came outside, called 911, I got redirected because of the AT&T problem, finally got ahold of someone and they're like 'Well, firemen are in route,’" recalled neighbor Kasi Strickland. "By the time they got here, the whole house was in flames."

The Shannon Hills Fire Department is one mile from the Hale family home.


"He was a really nice guy, a great guy, a lot of folks liked him here,” said Shannon Hill Mayor Mike Kemp.

Hale was his first hired back in 2011.

"He really cared about our community and wanted to help others. I think that's what actually drew him to law enforcement,” Kemp said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Arkansas State Police Fire Investigators were on the scene Thursday afternoon, looking through the rubble for answers.

Answers this community said they desperately need.

"I really wanted to go and try to help, but I knew I couldn't because the house was up in so many flames. It was the most helpless feeling you could ever feel knowing that you couldn't do nothing," Strickland told us.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Hales. It has a goal of $10,000.