The Vicksburg/Warren call center received a call of a structure fire on Birdsong Road in the county just after noon today, Jan. 19. The caller noted the home had flames showing.
Firefighters from the Bovina and Culkin fire departments responded along with 911 Director Shane Garrard and Warren County Fire Coordinator Jerry Briggs. Garrard and Briggs were first on scene and noted the house was 50% engulfed in flames along with a truck parked near the front of the home. While they waited for fire trucks to arrive, there was little anyone could do beyond trying to contain the fire to the home and truck already engulfed in flames.
The homeowner, Edward Hays, was thankful for the efforts of the firefighters to contain the fire. He and his family were attending church when the fire started. “I walked out of church and got a phone call that my house was on fire,” Hays said, clearly in anguish.
Only the family dog, Daisy, was in the home. Daisy was a Jack Russell Rat terrier, and she did not survive the fire. Her body was removed with great care by firefighters so the family can bury their beloved pet.
Firefighters pulled Hays’ safe from the ashes and opened it for him. The locking mechanism was destroyed by the fire, so firefighters used their cutter and expander (more commonly called the “jaws of life”) to get into the safe. The Vicksburg Daily News featured the safe opening in a live report that you can see here.
Here are more photos from today’s tragic fire (all the photos in this story are by David Day):
Father of family of seven who died in Clinton fire in critical condition; funds being raised for expenses
The father of a family that died in Saturday’s tragic house fire in Clinton was critically injured attempting to save his wife and their six children.
He didn’t want to leave the scene, said Mark Jones, City of Clinton communications director. Transported to Merit Health Central Hospital suffering from burns and smoke inhalation, as well as cuts and bruises, he was listed in critical but stable condition last night.
His name has not been released in accordance with HIPPA regulations, Jones said.
Victims of the fire were identified by Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart. They are: Brittany Presley, 33, Landon Brookshire, 15, Lane Presley, 13, Lawson Presley, 12, Grayson Presley, 6, Malcom Presley, 4, and Felicity Presley, 1.
Brittany Presley taught school at Reuben B. Myers Canton School of Arts and Sciences, and one of her sons attended preschool there. Four of the children attended Clinton public schools including Clinton Park Elementary, Lovett Elementary and Clinton Junior High.
The Clinton Fire Department and the Mississippi Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating to determine the cause of the fire as well as why the family was unable to get out of the house. Burglar bars on the windows and doors may have trapped them inside.
At this time, foul play is not suspected, Jones said.
Firefighters were called to the scene around 12:30 a.m. Saturday on Old Vicksburg Road and Hobby Farm Road. Four fire engines and a ladder truck needed 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze.
Two funds have been established to assist the family with funeral and medical expenses:
- Family members have set up a GoFundMe page.
- The Presley’s church, Raymond Road Baptist, has established a fund. Send donations to: Jake Presley Fund, c/o Raymond Road Baptist Church, 4622 Raymond Road, Jackson MS 39212.
Information from the Clarion Ledger and WLBT.
Seven dead in Clinton house fire
Seven people have died in a house fire in Clinton.
Clinton Fire Chief Jeff Blackledge said the fire started about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, WLBT reports.
The victims, one adult and six children, range in age from 1 to 33 years old.
The house is located at Old Vicksburg Road and Hobby Farm Road in Clinton.
The Clinton Fire Department and the Mississippi State Fire Marshal are investigating.
Early morning fire destroys home on Valley Street – details plus video
A Valley Street home that had been unoccupied for a couple of years was destroyed by fire early this morning.
Firefighters received the call of a structure fire in the 2900 block of Valley Street at 4:49 a.m. The first officer on the scene reported flames and smoke were showing. When Engine 6 from Central Fire Station and Engine 7 from Station 7 on Washington Street arrived a couple of minutes later, the structure was over 50% engulfed. By the time water was supplied moments later, the 80-year-old wooden structure was fully engulfed in flames.
The home had been unoccupied since the homeowner passed away a couple of years ago. The adult children checked on the house frequently, according to neighbors.
The structure appears to be a complete loss. There is no word on the cause of the fire.
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