A volunteer fireman rescued his three school-age children from their burning home early Friday before the blaze gutted parts of their house.
The firefighter, a serviceman, and his wife, a nurse who was at work, have three children. Their home on Teague Road is heavily damaged — unlivable — and they lost most of their possessions, Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said.
The firefighter woke up about 1:30 a.m. and realized his house was on fire, Sullivan said. The man got his children out of the house and called for help.
The fireman’s name wasn’t immediately available.
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“In a situation like this, families often get concerned that people will go to their house and take what little of their possessions they have left,” Sullivan said.
Firefighters fought the fire for about two hours, Sullivan said.
“It was cold. Very cold,” said a fire department supporter. The woman, who went to the scene to hand out water and help firefighters behind the scenes, asked not to be identified.
“The family is all right when I last saw them,” she said. “They were a little in shock.”
Christmas lights hanging across the front porch seemingly untouched were in stark contrast to emergency flashing lights as firefighters dealt with lingering smoke after they extinguished the blaze. The fire’s worst damages appeared to be to the back of the house. The couple own the home, Sullivan said.
A video Sullivan filmed once the flames were put out takes viewers inside the home to show damage and firefighters putting out hot spots.
An American Medical Response ambulance crew was on standby at the scene. No injuries were reported.
“Neighbors and friends are helping the family out,” Sullivan said.
Members of the community and supporters of the Saucier Fire Department are trying to collect clothing to meet the family’s immediate needs through word of mouth and the Citizens of Saucier Facebook page.
Fire departments from Saucier, Lizana, McHenry and the Combat Readiness Training Center from the Gulfport airport fought the blaze.
Sullivan said the cause of the fire wasn’t immediately known and is under investigation.