Ocean Springs family of five left homeless after fire - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs family of five left homeless after fire

(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)
Children of Clarence Battle and Kristen Handler (Photo source: Kristen Handler) Children of Clarence Battle and Kristen Handler (Photo source: Kristen Handler)
(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)
Clarence Battle and Kristen Handler (Photo source: Kristen Handler) Clarence Battle and Kristen Handler (Photo source: Kristen Handler)
Clarence Battle with his children (Photo source: Kristen Handler) Clarence Battle with his children (Photo source: Kristen Handler)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Two days before Thanksgiving, an Ocean Springs family of five is homeless, and two members had to be taken to the hospital with injuries.

This is after fire consumed their home on Robinson Ave. just before 8 a.m. Outside, the scars left by the fire are plainly evident. Inside, there is hardly anything left. 

The father of three sons, Clarence Battle, is credited with saving their lives. That’s according to Ocean Springs Fire Chief Jeff Ponson. 

“He had went to Burger King to get breakfast and came back, and when he opened the door, there were flames, and he ran in and got his kids out. The wife had already got out. He ended up with burns on his hands and his lips and one of the children had smoke inhalation,” Ponson said. 

Ponson added fighting the fire was challenging. 

“They initially knocked it down from the outside and then came in and attacked it from the inside, but the heat from the fire was tough.”

Family relatives salvaging what little they could find said history has repeated itself. One of them was Krystal Watts. 

“This house has been burned before. Our grandmother lived here, but the only surviving thing was the Bible, so she always taught us to read our word and stay true to Him. So, we're just thankful that everyone is safe and keeping our prayers. This is truly a hurt, but we're just glad that everyone is here,” Watts said.

Perhaps the hardest work comes after the fire is out, trying to figure out exactly what happened. Lt. Brad Chennault, with the Ocean Springs Fire Department, explained the process. 

“Right now, we're just following different patterns. We've got patterns on the wall that indicate that the fire was started in the hall area. So, we're just tracing wires and tracing different avenues of fire spread, so that's what our investigator is doing at this point,” Chennault said.

That tracing will hopefully solve the mystery of this fire.

Investigators say the fire was accidental, and it appears to have been caused by an electrical problem.

Meanwhile, the family has three young boys, ages four, three, and one.  Donations for the family can be made at Central Fire Station in Ocean Springs, and firefighters will deliver them to the family.

Battle is being treated for his burns at a hospital in Mobile, AL.

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