Fire destroys home in county

Published 12:18 am Sunday, April 8, 2007

A home off Dumas Bailey Road in Pearl River County was destroyed by a fire Saturday. No one was home at the time of the fire.

The fire occurred while the female resident’s brother was cutting the grass at the home. He left for about 30 minutes to get a new battery for the riding lawnmower and the fire took place while he was gone, said Fire Marshal Albert Lee.

A neighbor saw the fire as she was coming home from shopping and headed home to tell her husband, Danny Laird, who is a retired fire fighter with the Kenner, La. Fire Department. Laird said his wife informed him of the fire to see if there was anything he could do.

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“I’m a retired fire fighter, so I guess she thought I could walk on water,” Laird said.

Laird said he headed to the home and tried the door, which was locked so he kicked it in. He said in his experience, victims of such fires usually make it to the door and pass out in front of it, but there was no one in front of the door, Laird said.

Laird said he then tried to get the garden hose but burned his hand in the process. The burn was minor, he said.

As he told his story, a wisp of smoke reached his face.

“Smells like the good old days to me,” Laird said. “I just pray to God that girl ain’t in there, or anyone for that matter.”

Laird said he did not try to go into the home since the fire was too hot.

Laird said noticed that in the handling the fire, the volunteers were not allowed to pull the electric meter from the home to fight the fire. That posed a hazardous situation for the volunteer fire fighters, he said.

“Those men are volunteers. They don’t need to die because the power company would not let them pull the meter,” he said.

Where Laird used to work, firefighters had authority to pull electric meters, he said. The power company did not arrive to cut the power and pull the meter until the responding volunteer fire departments had the fire almost out.

This and some other issues Laird said he plans to address to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors at a future meeting.

Fire Marshal Lee said the cause of the fire is undetermined, but an inspection of the interior found no one was found inside.

“That was the good part,” Lee said.

There will be an investigation on Monday when the State Fire Marshal arrives, Lee said.