JONES COUNTY – Two house fires happened in the early morning in Jones County; one man suffered critical injuries in one of the incidents.
The victim, Keith Shirley, was initially taken to South Central Regional Medical Center, but was later taken to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Jackson, MS. He suffered from an inhalation burn.
According to Jones County Fire Service PIO Linda Cranford, the incident happened at 6:14 a.m., on July 19, 2015 on Williams Road in the Glade Community. Fire units responded to the Shirley’s home where flames “were shooting from the rear portion of the home.”
An official release says “a second alarm was sent out for water and manpower support from Ovett and Calhoun VFDs.” The fire was brought under control and the second alarm was eventually cancelled.
When the fire broke out, Shirley says he was able to run to neighbor’s house and call 911 after waking up coughing and choking. His wife, Noel, and two children were not in the house due to visiting relatives.
Shirley’s brother is Mike Shirley, shop manager of Hellfighters Mortorcyle.
Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna says, “He was fortunate to escape from the fire. Our thoughts and prayers remain with him, and his family.”
McKenna also says there were no working fire alarms in the home. He says, “Fire alarms are such a cheap investment, and can make the difference between life and death in so many cases.”
Although Shirley escaped the blaze, one of his dogs died in the home and firefighters buried the puppy in Shirley’s backyard.
Linda Cranford says the other Sunday morning fire in Jones county took place in the Sharon community at an abandoned house on Reedy Creek Extension. Upon arrival, firefighters found the house fully ingulfed in flames. An official release says “the house was the old family homestead of Pastor Kenny McMinn. The cause of the fire is unknown.”
The fire at the Shirley home is being investigated by Jones County Sheriff’s Department Fire Investigator Sgt. Scott Gable and the State Fire Marshall’s Office. The cause of the incident has not been determined as of yet.
It is unclear whether the two incidents are related or not.