Arson Blamed For Gulfport Apartment Fire

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Fire ripped through a Gulfport apartment community Sunday evening.  That's after someone started a fire in a top floor apartment.

"When we arrived the residents were coming out on their own or other people were helping them out when we first arrived," said Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan.

Judy Polk was one of those residents.

"They came and knocked on my door and told me we need to get out. There was a fire on the backside of our building, so I grabbed what I had in my hands and left," Polk said.

Polk says she never heard a smoke or fire alarm go off in the building, but when someone knocked on her door, she knew it was an emergency.

"It wound up being a one-room fire in an apartment complex. It vented through the roof but we kept the fire contained to one room," said Dereck Ladner with the Gulfport Fire Department.

Sammie Gray-Wiseman also lives in building ten, and while she wasn't home at the time of the fire, she panicked when she heard the news.

"I was in church and my daughter came and got me from church, and I came here to see if it was my apartment. But she came and settled me down and said that it wasn't my apartment," Gray-Wiseman said.

Now, until residents of this charred building get an okay from fire officials, they will have to live elsewhere.

"If we can get them back in, we would rather get them back in because no one wants to be displaced," Sullivan said.

Chief Pat Sullivan says that Gulport Police did arrest a man in connection with the fire.