Ocean Springs Man Dies In House Fire

Grief and shock overcame Lisa Pickens Thursday morning, as she watched firefighters, police, and caution tape surround her dad's house.

"My dad died, and the two dogs died that was in the house too," Lisa Pickens said.

She rushed over, after getting a frantic phone call from her brother.

"He said my dad was in the house and he couldn't get out," said Pickens.

Ray Kerr, 68, was trapped inside the home on Queen Park Circle in Ocean Springs. His daughter-in-law, Jessica Kerr, and her 19-month-old son were also in the house when the fire broke out.

"She got up, got the baby out of the crib, and tried to go back into the bedroom, and nothing but smoke came up and she couldn't get the door open," Pickens said.

"The daughter-in-law ran across the street. She brought her 19-month-old baby to a neighbor," said Ray Akins with the Ocean Springs Police Department.

"I saw flames out of the window on the side," said neighbor Rich Osborne.

He also heard Jessica's pleas for help.

"She came running back and forth across the street. I went to the front door, and there was smoke billowing out of the front door and I heard a squealing noise. It sounded like an animal. A dog. I was going to go in and help him and get him out, but there was just no getting in there," Osborne said.

"By the time I got here, he was already gone. He was dead," said Pickens.

Firefighters found Mr. Kerr in his bed.

Captain Akins said, "The fire did start, from what I can tell, in the bedroom where the deceased was at. He was wheelchair bound. He was unable to get away from the fire."

His death is another emotional blow for the family.

"My mom died about seven years ago. So ever since then, he's been real like a loner. He misses my mom a lot," Pickens said.

On Friday, an autopsy will be conducted to determine if Mr. Kerr died of burns or smoke inhalation. And police and the state Fire Marshal will go back to the house to figure out how the fire started.