By Floyd Ingram
HOUSTON – Two teenagers have been seriously burned and a third has died following a Saturday morning fire in eastern Chickasaw County.
Authorities said Tony Mark “Bubba” Raines, 16, died en route to Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson that morning. His brother Logan Raines, 14, and Trent Huffman, 16, were also burned when the camper they were sleeping in caught fire.
Bubba Raines was a student at East Webster High School, while Logan Raines and Huffman attend Houston High School, officials said.
“At this point we don’t know exactly what caused the fire,” said Chickasaw County Fire Investigator James Myers. “Logan Raines said he woke up and when he sat up his head was in smoke. He got out and then went back in to get his brother and Huffman, and then drove down the road to get help.”
Myers said there is no hard evidence at this point of an explosion, but the fire is under investigation.
He said an investigator with the state fire marshal’s office was called in and an autopsy has been ordered. Myers said both are standard procedure with a fatal fire.
“We do know Huffman sustained serious burns to his upper body and Logan had burns to his hands and back,” said Myers. “They were camping in a FEMA trailer and somehow it caught fire.”
Myers said a neighbor drove the trio to Trace Regional Hospital in Houston and emergency room personnel called 911.
Chickasaw County Coroner Andy Harmon said all three were airlifted to Central Mississippi and Huffman was later transported by jet to a burn hospital in Atlanta.
Harmon said Mark Raines died at Central Mississippi. He said Logan may be released as early as this week but Huffman’s injuries are more serious.
Capt. Jason Davis of the Houston Fire Department said fire trucks were dispatched at 4:50 a.m. to 420 Country Road 92 in the Arbor Grove community and arrived on the scene at 5:04. Southeast Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the blaze. Firefighters were on the scene until 6 a.m., and the area was sealed with yellow fire-scene tape.
A memorial service was held for Bubba Raines at Arbor Grove Baptist Church Sunday afternoon. Students drove to Houston High School Monday morning in a police-escorted caravan of pickup trucks, and church youth pastors and school counselors were made available to friends of the trio.
This is the second fatal fire in Chickasaw County in a month. Carolyn Buggs, 76, of 177 County Road 242 north of Houlka died when her trailer caught on fire Aug. 22.