Weather

Harrison County Fire Services battle 3 blazes in storm

Harrison County Fire Services responded to three house fires amid the severe storms that moved through the Coast on Thursday.

Firefighters also assisted the Sheriff's Department in high-water rescues and evacuations.

Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said the day began early, when a 2 a.m. call went out for a house fire on Mallard Drive in Saucier.

Five people were in the home but they got out safely. Sullivan said the fire was contained the single-story brick home's kitchen, but there was smoke damage elsewhere in the house.

Harrison County, Combat Readiness Training Center and Lizana units responded to the fire, with five units and 12 people.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital to be treated and released for heat-related injuries.

The second fire was during the height of the storm. Lightning struck a single-story home on Cardinal Drive off John Clark Road.

While firefighters battled the fire, lightning was flashing all around, Sullivan said.

Two people and their pets were home. All were able to get out safely.

The fire was confined to the roof and attic, he said, but because of the heavy rain, water damage is significant.

"We got the fire out then tried to keep the water damage to a minimum, but it was pretty bad," he said.

The third fire destroyed a mobile home that also was struck by lightning, Sullivan said.

A woman in the home on Pete Hickman Road in Saucier told firefighters she heard and felt the lightning strike, then smelled burning.

She called 911 and then left the home.

"It was a total loss," Sullivan said.

In addition to the fires, Sullivan said, firefighters responded with the Sheriff's Department on 10 to 12 water rescues or evacuations.

"Some of the people were requesting evacuations from the flood waters and a 5-ton vehicle was used to remove the people," he said.

Most of the rescues were in the Mennonite Road area, he said.

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