Insights > Entergy Arkansas helps honor fallen firefighters in McGehee

Entergy Arkansas helps honor fallen firefighters in McGehee


It’s been nearly 50 years since a fatal fire killed three firefighters in the small city of McGehee, but some residents and family members remember it like it was yesterday.

On September 20, 1975, what was supposed to be a routine fire in McGehee took the lives of David Dupwe, Michael Hunt and Walter Russel Leonard Jr.  and injured several others.

Each year, the McGehee fire department gathers at the site of the tragedy to honor those fallen firefighters, and now they have constructed a memorial there. The new memorial includes a mural painted on the side of the building showing a fire truck with three people standing in the back. This image was painted from a picture taken on the day of the fatal fire. There will eventually be a “story wall” and another painting directly across the street.

“When finished, this memorial will enhance the beauty of our downtown area, which we will be proud to show off to visitors,” said McGehee Assistant Fire Chief Keith Yelvington.

Entergy Arkansas was proud to donate to the memorial as part of its mission to “power life” in the local community. The company’s goal is to help build strong communities across its 63-county service territories. These donations are made possible by profits from the company owners through the Entergy Charitable Foundation and not with customer dollars.

“Even in tragedy hope is possible.” said Amanda Killingsworth, customer service manager for the area. “When we work together as a community to show honor and support to our first responders, it is a reminder to them that their sacrifice does not go unseen or without celebration. The greatest honor we can show to our fallen is to keep their memory alive.”

Entergy Arkansas has a long history of supporting local communities financially and with volunteers. This is another example of the company’s commitment to improve communities in which its employees live and work.  In 2023, Entergy Arkansas gave more than $2 million in charitable contributions and logged more than 29,000 volunteer hours.

For more information about the Entergy Arkansas corporate giving, visit

Arkansas Editorial Team