Fire destroys abandoned house

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Natchez firefighters pulled double duty Tuesday when embers from a house fire on Louisiana Avenue sparked a small flame in another neighborhood home.

Crews had just extinguished a blaze that destroyed an abandoned house at 109 Louisiana Ave. off West Stiers Lane when a neighbor ran into the street yelling that her own home was on fire.

Gloria Hargrave, 114 Louisiana Ave., said she noticed smoke near a window in the back of her house, but assumed it was coming from down the street.

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&uot;We thought it was the smoke from the other house, but then we saw the flame,&uot; Hargrave said.

Firefighters rushed to her home and tore away part of the window frame to find embers carried by the wind had settled in the wooden sill and were beginning to kindle.

Hargrave said she was thankful the firefighters were still on the scene when the second fire broke out. &uot;Very thankful, because I would have panicked,&uot; she said.

Hargrave’s house suffered only minor damage, but the abandoned house was fully involved when firefighters arrived just after 11 a.m. Neighbors reported the fire, Johnson said.

Neighbor Melva Banks said the house has been empty for at least a year and belongs to a woman who owns several houses on the street, including her own. Johnson said the cause of the fire was still under investigation on Tuesday. No electricity or utilities were being supplied to the house.