Investigation begins into fire that ripped through Gautier fishing camp

Investigation begins into fire that ripped through Gautier fishing camp

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - An investigation is underway to find out what caused a fire in Gautier on Monday night. Flames ripped through a section of Hercules Fishing Camp, destroying one cabin and damaging two others.

"It's pretty devastating, but we're a resilient group," said camp member Chip Harris.

The camp is a close knit community made up of more than 40 cabins all in close proximity to one another.

Harris' cabin was one of the ones damaged by the flames. He said the camp was built in the late 1940s by a group of Hercules Electric workers from Hattiesburg who bought the land.

"The internal structure of all of them are the old Quonset huts that the military used at the training bases at Camp Shelby," said Harris.

Those materials are what made this fire difficult to battle.

"It's pretty straight hard pine. It's a hearty built house, and it was hard to get into," said Gautier Deputy Fire Chief Derek McCoy.

Monday night's blaze raged through the night. McCoy said it took more than nine hours to extinguish the flames.

"It is a dry season. We've had a little cold spell, and we've not had significant rainfall in many weeks, and the humidity has been lower," said McCoy.

Based on those factors and the closeness of each camp, residents say the fire department's ability to contain the inferno is impressive. One home, less than eight feet from the destroyed cabin, made it through the night almost spot free.

"They kept a hose constantly going on my house over here, and when you see the distance in between the houses over there, I'm very lucky," said Cissie Dubuisson.

Moving forward, residents say the fire will probably lead to some changes in the camp.
For now, camp members say they'll assess the damage and see what caused the fire, then begin the cleanup and rebuilding process.

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