Fire destroys warehouse
Published 12:03 am Wednesday, June 29, 2011
NATCHEZ — Firefighters fought 50-foot flames and 100-degree heat Tuesday afternoon when a warehouse at Holder’s Mobile Homes caught fire on U.S. 61 North.
Approximately an hour after the fire, which singed a pine tree and melted the siding off an adjacent mobile home, was under control, firefighters from four stations hosed the last flames.
Rodney Holder, whose family owns the warehouse, watched as strips of the tin roof melted in folds on top of his father’s motor home and other appliances that have been stored there for 50 years.
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“I was off the lot, the I got back here. I don’t know what happened,” Rodney said, seemingly dazed.
He said the family planned to take the motor home on a trip for the Fourth of July holiday, but the motor home, a golf cart and other contents in the 40-by 70-foot warehouse were unrecognizable.
“It’s just material stuff,” Rodney said. “It can all be replaced.”
Natchez Fire Department stations three and four, as well as Foster Mound and Liberty Road volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, in addition to Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
Fire Marshall Aaron Wesley said the fire department was investigating the cause of the fire, but that a golf cart overheating might have caused it.
“At this time, we are suspecting no foul play,” Wesley said.
The 911 call about the fire was received at 1:33 p.m., Wesley said. High school students who were delivering phonebooks in the area noticed the smoke and made the call.
Angela McElroy, who works at Annie Mae’s next door to Holder’s, witnessed the fire from start to finish, she said.
“We were watching the whole thing. I heard the explosion,” she said, still watching.
Holder’s wife, Janis, handed out cold water and soft drinks to firefighters, emergency workers, friends and family of the Holders on the scene — some which took shelter in the shade avoid feeling ill from the heat.
A medic was nearly called to treat a firefighter who got overheated, Wesley said.
Janis Holder said her family was shaken up by the fire, and noted appliances and other items were in the warehouse, which had been standing since the company opened in 1950.
“My husband’s grandfather built that shop; it’s emotional,” she said.