Assisted living facility residents safe after morning fire - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Assisted living facility residents safe after morning fire

Boney says the sprinkler system did its job. (Photo source: WLOX News) Boney says the sprinkler system did its job. (Photo source: WLOX News)
According to Boney, only one staff member had to be treated for smoke inhalation, and no residents were injured. (Photo source: WLOX News) According to Boney, only one staff member had to be treated for smoke inhalation, and no residents were injured. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The grounds surrounding the Pillars were filled with emergency vehicles and crews throughout the morning on Wednesday, after flames forced residents and staff at the Pillars Medical Residences in Biloxi to evacuate.

Fire Chief, Joe Boney says the fire wasn't as involved as others he's seen, but it was still a dangerous situation.

"Anytime you have a fire like this, it doesn't take a lot of fire. The smoke is what gets people. Especially when you have many residents in a close area like this," said Boney.

According to Boney, only one staff member had to be treated for smoke inhalation, and no residents were injured. The staff at the facility had already started the evacuations when the fire department arrived.

"They did exactly what they were supposed to do, they made sure their residents were safe," said Rhonda Nettles, administrator of a sister facility to the Pillars.

According to Nettles, the staff members practice several fire drills a month to make sure they are prepared for any incident. Since the fire was contained to one room, the residents were simply moved to a safer area of the building.

Chief Boney says the sprinkler system also did its job.

"It did stop the fire. It held the fire until we could get to it to put it out," said Boney.

In addition to the building's safety features, all agencies involved were on top of their game. AMR operations manager, Gregory Doyle, says that teamwork is a product of proper training.

"When you train all the time together. Go to the same meetings, go to the same planning sessions, it helps out a lot," said Doyle.

Although one wing of the facility had a bit of water damage, officials hoped to have the residents back to their rooms by the end of the day.

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