LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A home in Long Beach was reduced to ashes after an early morning fire ripped through its newly constructed walls Wednesday.
The pre-dawn sky was a glowing orange over the roaring inferno. The home, still under construction, was engulfed as firefighters rushed to the scene.
"Once we got to the Long Beach/Gulfport line, we realized it was in Long Beach, and we continued our response, because of course a fire is a fire. It needs to be put out no matter who's doing it. We got a chance to work with our Long Beach brothers today," said Lt. Keith Johnson, with the Gulfport Fire Department.
Together, Gulfport and Long Beach fire departments drenched the flames leaping out of this under construction waterfront home.
Long Beach Assistant Fire Chief Griff Skellie said there are several quick decisions that have to be made on the scene, but one thing stays constant.
"First thing is firefighter safety. That's our number one priority in a situation like this," said Skellie.
The firefighters knew this was going to be a fight even before they got to the scene. Johnson was one of the first to get to the house. He could see the glow of the fire on the way to the scene.
"I had wall-to-wall flames. A big orange glow. No doubt, you could see it approaching. So we knew we had a monster fire going here. As you can see by all the charred embers of boards, it was fully, and when I say fully, I mean fully involved," said Johnson.
The firefighters quickly determined no one was in the house, which is a fact that always takes a weight off their shoulders.
"Anytime that we get called out, it's usually when somebody's suffering from a loss. We try to minimize the loss best we can. Naturally, if we don't have a loss of life, that's always great. You could always replace a few boards and a few nails," said Johnson.
The investigation continues as crews sift through the debris at 920 East Beach Blvd., just east of USM's Gulf Park campus.