Fire guts house on North Rankin Street

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 3, 2000

A fire gutted a North Rankin Street house and exhausted three teams of firefighters Thursday before finally being extinguished.

Natchez firefighters spent close to an hour battling the blaze. The fire spread into the attic, making it difficult for firefighters to reach. &uot;It had a wooden ceiling and some false ceilings in it,&uot; Natchez Fire Chief Gary Winborne said. &uot;We had a lot of trouble breaking through it.&uot;

The 500 North Rankin St. house also was built on a hill making the job even harder, he said.

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The fire was the second house fire owner Dolores Hardin has suffered; she has lived in the house all her life. Thursday’s fire was worse, she said.

&uot;I don’t feel nothing, there ain’t nothing to feel,&uot; she said &uot;Everything’s gone.&uot;

Hardin was sitting outside at a neighbor’s house when the fire began. &uot;I had just come back from shopping, she said &uot;We were just sitting here (and) didn’t see anything.&uot;

No one was in the house at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries.

&uot;I spent a lot nights there,&uot; said Lisa Douglas, one of Hardin’s friends. &uot;I’m very hurt about it.&uot;

The Natchez Fire Department was called to the scene at 4:50 p.m. and worked the fire to close to 6 p.m.

&uot;It was the worst house fire we have had here recently,&uot; Winborne said. &uot;The whole interior was pretty-much gutted out.&uot;

Winborne said a faulty extension cord in one of the rooms is believed to be the cause of the fire. And clothing in that room helped the fire spread quickly, he added.

A total of 15 firefighters comprised the three teams that worked the fire.

&uot;We normally send two (teams), but the guys were getting so tired we called in another one,&uot; Winborne said.

It is not uncommon for firefighters to become so exhausted by a fire, Winborne said.