The Gulfport Fire Department received numerous calls Friday night that the home at 8360 Florida Avenue had caught fire. Neighbors say they saw flames and smoke, and ran to the home. They reported hearing Nancy Ellis Jones screaming for help inside, but neighbors said the smoke was too heavy and the flames too hot for them to get inside.
Coroner Gary Hargrove says Jones died of smoke inhalation. Fire Chief Pat Sullivan says he thinks Jones may have tried to escape through a window but couldn't because of her burglar bars.