December Fire Claims Life Of Yalobusha Man
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MEMPHIS – A Yalobusha County man died on Christmas day after he was burned in a house fire earlier in the month. Yalobusha County Coroner Ronnie Stark reported John Pryor, age 73, died at Regional One Health in Memphis on Dec. 25. Pryor was burned in a fire on County Road 119 near Hawkins Crossing on Dec. 2.
Yalobusha County EMA Director Dalton Coleman reported multiple departments in the county responded to the Dec. 2 fire including Water Valley, O’Tuckolofa and Velma. Firefighters from across the county also assisted as the tone-out from the dispatcher reported the fire with the occupant possibly trapped inside the residence.
“He was able to get out, he actually crawled out of the trailer,” Coleman also told the Herald about the victim. “It was a hot fire, they had to put a lot water on it.”
Pryor was transported from the scene for medical treatment in a private vehicle after both ambulances in the county were already responding to other calls. The vehicle was met by an ambulance on Hwy. 315 and Pryor was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital – North in Oxford. Coleman reported he was then flown to Regional One Health for treatment.
Stark said the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s office notified him of the death. Coleman added that the fire fatality will trigger a routine investigation.
“Every fire-related death in the state must be investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s office,” Coleman told the Herald. “We will be assisting the state agency with this investigation.”
Funeral arrangements for Pryor have not been announced. Seven Oaks Funeral Home is in charge.
Pryor’s death marked the second fire fatality in the county during 2021. Eugene “Gene” Nelson was killed in a house fire on County Road 280 near the Sylva Rena community on Feb. 20. Authorities reported the fire started in the vicinity of a wall heater at the rear of the residence.