Harrison County Fire Kills A Florida Teen - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County Fire Kills A Florida Teen

At 9:59 a.m., a manufactured home at Armes Road and Yankee Town Road caught fire. Doris Kistler was the first Saucier Volunteer firefighter on the scene. "There was smoke coming out all the way around the trailer and I could see fire through the whole thing. It was totally engulfed."

Four volunteer fire departments rushed to the Saucier community. Not only did they have to battle the fire, they had to battle their emotions. A 15-year-old was trapped in the bedroom. And Shawn Morrison couldn't be rescued.

"It's sad," Saucier chief Mareanda Weems said. "It's a hard thing to deal with right now."

The volunteers had to cut a hole in an exterior wall to pull the body out of the rubble. Being unable to save Morrison was tough to accept.

"Deep down in, you wish that you could have done something," Kistler said, "but there are some of these times that you know that you did your best."

Lost in the tragedy was the heroism of a former Gulfport fireman. Freddy Vanderman lives down the street from the trailer behind me. So when he saw the fire, he rushed over here, and pulled the only person he could reach out of the burning structure. Vanderman saved Shawn Morrison's brother, 18-year-old Paul Morrison.

Firefighter Kistler was there to assist Vanderman. "Like I told you before," she said, "the main thing he was thinking about was getting the person out."

Saving just one of the two trapped people left the firefighters with heavy hearts. They weren't used to a fire that had such a tragic ending. "We haven't had one in Saucier in a long time," Chief Weems said. "But I put it behind me. And I just have to do my job. And my job is to clean up the scene and keep going on."

Paul Morrison was taken to Garden Park Medical Center. The 18 year old brother of the deceased was in stable, but guarded condition. The former fireman turned hero, Freddy Vanderman, was also taken to Garden Park. But he was sent home.

An autopsy that could help determine how Shawn Morrison died, and how the fire started, will be done Thursday.

Brandy Wilson owns the Saucier home that burned down this morning. The fire was the second recent tragedy that has impacted her life. Just less than a year ago, authorities say Brandy's husband died in a jet ski accident on Gulfport Lake.

by Brad Kessie

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