Hamer home destroyed in blaze

Published 12:17 am Friday, January 9, 2009

The historic home of Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was destroyed in a fire on New Year’s Day.

Police Chief Ben Grant, who also serves as secretary of the volunteer fire department, says it appears the fire was caused by two space heaters, one in a back room and the other in the hallway. Grant says the fire gutted the home.

Grant says no one was at home when the fire was reported. He said Lenora Hamer-Flakes, Hamer’s granddaughter, lived at the house.

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Grant says a metal roof kept the fire inside the house and made it difficult to fight.

Hamer, who died in 1977, championed black voting rights and was one of the founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party during the 1960s.