Harrison County

Victim of fire at Biloxi apartment complex was a 76-year-old man, coroner says

A 76-year-old man who died on Memorial Day in a fire at Westwick Apartments died in bed, where the fire started, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said.

The coroner released the identity of David Michael Archer Sr. on Friday.

"He died an accidental death due to injuries from the fire," Hargrove said.

Evidence indicates Archer had been smoking in bed and that was the cause of the fire, Fire Chief Joe Boney said.

Archer, a veteran, was a car salesman in South Mississippi over the past 30 years, according to his obituary. He served in the U.S. Army from 1959-64, loved to play poker and enjoyed playing Texas Hold-Em on the Mississippi Coast and in Las Vegas, the obituary says.

The fire was reported at the apartment complex about 11:55 a.m. May 28.

Boney has said firefighters reached the building about noon and put the fire out quickly. It did not spread to other apartments, which are on Stennis Drive, south of Pass Road and west of Popp's Ferry Road.

The Biloxi Fire Department and State Fire Marshals Office have been investigating the fire.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews