An Ocean Springs fire investigator says a cigarette caused Friday's fire at the Villa Maria retirement home. The elderly residents of the 13 story building had to evacuate when the fire broke out, many in wheelchairs or with walkers were left waiting in stairways until help arrived.
The fire started in an apartment on the 12th floor. Lt. Terry Webb told WLOX News a cigarette dropped in a chair sparked the fire. The fire filled Mary Greer's apartment with smoke... and the heat from the fire blew out the apartment window.