Family loses home to fire

Other fires occur locally


By Russell Hood

The Webster Progress-Times

Webster County firefighters responded to a number of structure and other fires last week, including one that destroyed a family’s house on East Old Hwy. 82.

That house was owned by Ross Harrison, and rented by Ramey and Andrea Kelly, according to information provided by Mathiston Fire Chief Lee Gilliland and Assistant Chief Shane Box. The Rameys have a child who is a fifth-grader, said Gilliland.

The fire, which was in the Mathiston fire district, was reported around 4:30 a.m. Jan. 29. Box said the house was 80 percent involved when firefighters arrived and had already broken through the roof on the west end of the house, which was a total loss. Two vehicles were saved from danger, one of which was parked next to the house.

Maben and Clarkson fire departments assisted Mathiston with tankers, and firefighters were on scene about three hours. Gilliland was in charge of incident command and Box was in charge of firefighting operations.

Fire Contained

Another structure fire occurred that afternoon in Eupora. Webster 911 dispatched the Eupora Fire Department to the two-story house fire on the north side of Crowley Road at 3:21 p.m. Jan. 29, with Walthall Fire Department providing mutual aid.

“EFD crews arrived on scene and quickly formed a plan of attack to contain the fire, which was located in the first-floor kitchen,” according to a news release. “Two EFD crews made an attack on the kitchen area of the residence while EFD and WFD crews searched the second floor for possible extension to the upstairs bedroom and attic. None were found.”

Crews from both department then quickly extinguished the fire in the kitchen area without further fire damage to the interior of the home.

EFD Chief Richard Love stated, “The residents of the home made the right decisions once the fire was out of control. They got out, stayed out and contacted 911 quickly.”

He also credited the quick dispatch, response and skill of the agencies involved.

“Webster 911 dispatched both departments in a timely manner. EFD and WFD quickly arrived on scene, formulated a plan and carried it out,” Love said. “Within 10 minutes, crews extinguished the flames preventing further loss. This effort is a true testament of how hard our Webster County fire volunteers train and prepare for times of need, such as this.”

Vehicle Fire

The Eupora Fire Department was dispatched to a pickup fire that was endangering a house on Hill Street about 9 a.m. Friday. City and Walthall units, along with Eupora’s Engine 391, arrived within four minutes of receiving the call, according to the EFD.

“The vehicle was fully involved under the carport of the house and the fire had begun to roll out from under the carport,” an EFD release stated. “Crews quickly initiated attack on the vehicle while preventing fire spread to the structure. The fire was completely extinguished with 20 minutes of arrival on scene.

“While the vehicle is likely a total loss, there was only minor damage done to the carport and no damage to the living areas of the house.”

Other Fires

Webster 911 also dispatched these other fire calls from Jan. 27-Sunday:

• 11:56 a.m. Jan. 27: woods fire on Clarkson Road. Clarkson and Walthall fire departments, and Mississippi Forestry Commission responded.

• 5:16 p.m. Jan. 29: grass fire at U.S. 82 and Industrial Park Road. Eupora FD responded.

• 2:54 p.m. Friday: grass fire on Pine Bluff Road, Mantee. Call was transferred to Clay County 911.

• 2:23 a.m. Sunday: fire on Reed Road in Choctaw County. Mathiston FD responded.


Eupora firefighters Michael Johnson and Dwayne Dodd (kneeling) help contain a fire to the kitchen area of a two-story house on Crowley Road. The fire occurred the afternoon of Jan. 29.

Eupora firefighters Michael Johnson and Dwayne Dodd (kneeling) help contain a fire to the kitchen area of a two-story house on Crowley Road. The fire occurred the afternoon of Jan. 29.