New Year's Day Duplex Fire Leaves Ten People Homeless

Ten people will start the new year homeless, after a fired gutted a Gulfport duplex Tuesday. The blaze happened about 4:00pm at the O'Neal Road Apartments.

Residentswho lived in one of the units said  they noticed smoke coming from a back bedroom. They were able to get out, however the fire quickly spread to the adjoining apartment.

One of the apartments was gutted, and the other had significant damage. Building officials said residents who lived in the damaged apartment may be able to move back in a few days, if maintenance can finish the repairs.

Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan says, it took almost two dozen firefighters to battle the blaze.

"This time of the year is a very difficult time. The temperatures drop, the fires are more numerous. It's harder to work in this type of weather. We have transients that get into buildings to stay warm and catch the building on fire. It puts them in danger, puts the firefighters in danger, said Chief Sullivan.

Sullivan says the Red Cross is helping both families for the next few days.