PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Investigators are trying to piece together evidence to determine what caused a large part of a Picayune shopping strip to go up flames. The Pearl River County Fire Marshal says sometime around 5 o'clock Saturday evening authorities received a call about a fire at Mississippi Mall on Highway 43.
When firefighters arrived, they say flames were shooting from the roof which leads them to believe the fire had been burning for some time. The fire chief says a furniture store and some empty stores were destroyed.
The bingo hall received heat, smoke and water damage.
The chief says although firefighters had hoses hooked to city water lines, the size of the fire made it necessary for several volunteer fire departments to haul in trucks filled with water as well.
Fire Chief Keith Brown said, "When you go into a defensive mode like this you have to pull larger diameter hoses, and you have to pull them in different directions. Our goal was to cut it off in the center of the building, so to do that, you've got to have a lot of water. And that takes bigger hoses, and it takes a lot of water."
Firefighters were able to keep the flames from getting to the southern end of the mall which officials say was built in the late 60s or early 70s.
Part of Highway 43 was closed to traffic while firefighters worked to contain the fire. There are no reports of injuries.