Fire destroys house in Tomnolen

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Firefighters from three departments were called to extinguish a fire Friday that eventually destroyed an unoccupied house in Tomnolen.

Volunteers responding to the 11:15 a.m. structure fire at 4123 U.S. Hwy. 82 found heavy smoke coming from both gable ends of the house.

Tomnolen volunteer firefighters were initially paged out, with Eupora and Mathiston units providing backup. Richard Love, Eupora fire chief and county fire investigator, said he found a fire in the fireplace but no smoke coming from the chimney.

“This led me to believe that the fire had broken through the chimney in the attic area and vented there,” said Love, who ruled the fire as accidental.

The unoccupied house was a total loss but firefighters saved a “mother-in-law suite” behind it, where goods were being stored while the house was being remodeled.

The house was owned by Larry Atkins. Son Terry Atkins, who was painting in a back room when he discovered the house was on fire, got out safely. Tomnolen volunteers were called back to the scene about 3 p.m.

While on the scene, the Eupora Fire Department was paged to another fire at 3760 MS Hwy. 9 about 11:30 a.m. The Walthall FD was dispatched as mutual aid and was also on scene.

Assistant Chief Steve Wells, who was incident commander on scene at that location, found that the homeowner had extinguished the fire upon the Eupora FD’s arrival. Love said he understood the fire started at a faulty plug on the stove.