Fire Destroys Gulfport Woman's Home

A Gulfport woman is homeless after a Monday afternoon fire gutted her Middlecoff Drive home. No one was injured in the blaze, but her two dogs died.

"It was very terrifying. There were dogs barking and screaming and it was disturbing, incredibly disturbing and smoke billows got very thick and very intense, quickly," said neighbor Becky Dennis.

Dennis was the first to notice the fire. She called 911 immediately.

As firemen battled the blaze, a crowd gathered including two of Madeline Farrell's daughters who grew up in the home. Two Gulfport High students, who live just a few blocks away, were on their way home from the mall when they spotted the blaze.

"The whole street was smoked out. You couldn't see anything. It was horrible," said Katie Heggins.

About 20 firefighters were at the scene, and although they were not able to save the home, they were able to save neighboring homes.

"We had a lot of debris in the attic area, and getting to the fire was hard because we had to get through the debris and the fire was going through the roof. It was kind of a hard struggle for us but we finally got it out," said District Chief Donald Knox of the Gulfport Fire Dept.

The home's owner, Madeline Farrell, made it home from her job in New Orleans after the fire was put out she was consoled by two of her daughters and other family members and has the heartfelt sympathy of her neighbors.

"This is a horrible time of year, any time of year, is really very sad, but around the holidays makes it so much more difficult," Dennis said.

A chest of pictures and keepsakes is about all that was salvaged from the fire.