Fire damages house on Wall Street

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 4, 2000

Sammy Rice shook his head as he watched smoke billow from the windows of his pink woodframe house. &uot;Some things you just can’t help,&uot; he said matter-of-factly. &uot;I’ve been married 21 years and, well, this is just a little extra excitement … We’ll have to fix it back and keep going.&uot;

&uot;It&uot; is his home at 630 N. Wall St., which caught on fire about 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

&uot;We were up in the master bedroom watching TV when the electricity went off,&uot; Rice said. &uot;I went back to check if it was in the whole house and when I got to the part that was behind the partition … I realized it was a fire.&uot;

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Rice quickly led his wife, Ceola; their daughter, Antoinette Washington; and 4-year-old granddaughter Kles Rice, out of the house.

&uot;And called these guys,&uot;&160;he said with an nod toward the firefighters.

&uot;I tried to get it out with a bucket, but the second time I tried to go back through that curtain (on the front porch), I couldn’t do it,&uot; Rice said. &uot;That smoke’ll get you.&uot;

Two pumpers and one ladder truck from the Natchez Fire Department responded to the fire. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.

Firefighters said the structure received heavy fire damage to the back room and smoke and water damage throughout.

Rice said he believes the fire was started when electric heater shorted out. He said the heater was either on or beside a bed in the back addition to the house.

&uot;I just hope to God it was localized,&uot;&160;he said, adding that he and seven members of his family live in the house.

&uot;That’s the girls’ bedroom,&uot; he said with a nod toward the burned out addition. &uot;Their clothes, everything, is burned up.&uot;