Owner: Space Heater May Have Caused Furniture Store Fire

A Tuesday afternoon fire in Gulfport caused heavy damage to a furniture store and extensive smoke damage to an adjoining FEMA facility.

Gulfport firefighters were called to the Furniture Ranch just before 3pm. A steady stream of smoke rose from the roof of the structure.

Fire in the back of that building caused extensive damage inside. There was also heavy smoke damage next door in a space leased by FEMA.  J&J Hair Design, which leases space in the same building as the furniture store, had less severe smoke damage.

One employee of the furniture store was taken to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation.

A part owner of the buildings, Margaret Jean Kalif, told WLOX News the fire may have been caused by a space heater.

"We had just completed extensive renovations for the Furniture Ranch, because they wanted to expand. Just finished last week," Kalif said. "It is unfortunate. But you know, that seems to be what goes on down here now."

A Gulfport fire spokesman on the scene could not comment on what caused the fire.