3 houses burn in 2 days in Adams County; officials say weather played part

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NATCHEZ Three houses in Adams County burned down in two days all for different but prevalent reasons — weather.

The National Weather Service issued a warning Saturday for Mississippi and Louisiana residents stating conditions were favorable for fires to spread easily and advised against any kind of outdoor burning.

The combination of falling, dry leaves, a lack of recent precipitation and dropping temperatures ultimately proved a destructive recipe said Adams County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Courtney Taylor.

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A house on Duck Pond Road was quickly engulfed Monday morning from a fire apparently started from a faulty electric heater.

On Sunday, an unoccupied house on Rainbow Street in Fenwick burned when suspected trespassers left something burning in the abandoned house, Taylor said.

Hours before the Rainbow Street fire, a house on Wactor Court burned down from embers left behind from an unsupervised trash and limb pile fire on the property.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fires, Taylor said.

While those fires might not all have been caused from the same thing, Taylor said weather conditions are what lead to the fires escalating out of control quickly.

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said heeding the warning of the NWS, even though there might not be a burn ban in place, is extremely important.

“If you are determined to take a chance and burn leaves and trash, then at least call the fire department and make sure that the humidity and wind are not at a dangerous level,” Mayfield said. “Your trash fire can spread at an alarming rate and wipe out your home as well as your neighbors’. Please think before you start a fire.”

Mayfield also asked residents in neighborhoods to call law enforcement officials, even anonymously, at the first sight of strangers in the area or intruders in unoccupied structures.

Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford Sr. said the NWS warning would not be in effect further this week, but asked residents to be aware of the appropriate time to burn.

“It’s tough because it’s perfect weather for a fire outside, but it’s also hard because a lot of people can’t control the fire if it gets out of hand,” Bradford said. “You also have a lot of people turning their heaters on for the first time all year, and that can be dangerous.”