Poplarville Stockyard destroyed in fire

Published 3:19 pm Friday, December 19, 2008

An early Thursday morning blaze all but destroyed the Poplarville Stockyard facility east of the city.

Pearl River County Fire Marshall Albert Lee said a passerby called about 12:46 a.m. of a fire at the stockyard, which was holding animals when the fire began. The former stockyard is now used as a shipping point for livestock the owners buy and sell.

He said when a sheriff’s unit and a Poplarville Police unit responded to the call, the entire front of the building where the office was located was involved. He said the building was built after hurricane Camille in 1969 “so it was all good and dry.”

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Units worked on the blaze until after 3 p.m., he said.

“The firefighters made a monumental effort to get in there and get those animals,” said David Moore, with county emergency management. He said chainsaws had to be used to clear some of the corrals to get the animals out.

All nvolunteer fire units in the northern end of the county and the Poplarville Fire Department responded to the blaze. Approximately 30 firefighters and nine pieces of equipment were involved in fighting the fire, Lee said.

There is no indication yet as to the cause of the blaze, but Lee is in contact with the state fire marshal’s office on inspection into a possible cause.

He said there were 74 head of cattle housed at the site but that prompt action by fire personnel saved the animals. They are currently being held on site but will be moved to another location shortly.

Danny Manley, Emergency Management director, said the site was used as a distribution center for cattle sold in the area.

L.J. Breaux of Breaux Services, Inc., Kiln, is the majority stockholder of the company operating the facility.

Brian Breaux, his son who was on the scene, said the company handles cattle at the site almost constantly and that the 74 head were to be loaded out Thursday evening. He said the load-out chute was in the portion of the facility that was saved and was undamaged.

He said it was too early to determine what will be done with the facility.