YALOBUSHA – County firefighters prepared for the worst as extremely cold temperatures moved into the area last week.
State officials had briefed Yalobusha Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Frank Hyde on what to expect as temperatures plummeted. Fire risks increase as people try to keep warm.
Hyde, who also service as County Fire Coordinator, said Tuesday that only two fires occurred over the period.
Last Wednesday fire destroyed a house at 107 Clay Street. Water Valley Fire Chief Michael Defer said that about a dozen volunteers from Otuckalofa, Sylva Rena, Velma, and Pine Valley assisted City firefighters.
The fire had been smoldering in the house for some time before being reported at 10:44 a.m., Defer said. He and Firefighter Chad Ferguson were first on the scene and entered the house after kicking in the front door.
Defer said that efforts to attack the fire from inside were hampered by dense black smoke and extreme heat which caused burns through their protective gear.
The Fire Chief added that units were on the scene until almost 6 p.m. Police checked on the still burning debris throughout the night to make sure the fire didn’t spread.
On Monday, just after noon, firefighters were called to Country Road 230 just south of the intersection with Hwy. 315 to battle a stubborn grass fire that burned a shed and about 30 bales of hay.
Water Valley’s County One truck and the Mississippi Forestry Commission aided the county volunteer departments in battling the blaze. The fire was started by a resident in the 1500 block of CR 230 who was doing some burning, according to Hyde.