Moss Point Leads Jackson Co. Cities In Reported Fires

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - "I heard a noise about 2:30 Monday morning, just like something that said, 'whoop,'" Purtis Watts remembered.

Watts soon realized that alarming sound was fire burning down his 37-year-old home. The Moss Point man said all he could do was grab his wife and granddaughter and run out of the house.

"I have seen firemen talking on the TV and police too. They were talking about what to do when a fire comes or something. I lost my van, my pickup, my house, and everything in the house, but I thank God I got my family out," Watts said.

"It is devastating to losing everything he has," Fire Captain Robert Lavinghouse said.

Lavinghouse said the Watts' house fire is still under investigation, but all too often his firefighters battle blazes around town that end up starting in much the same way.

"Most of our fires are caused by people leaving stuff unattended."

Last year, 20 Moss Point families who lost their homes to fire turned to the American Red Cross for help.

"It's not uncommon for the city of Moss Point to have the most families every year," Southeast Chapter Director Paige Roberts said.

According to Roberts, fire prevention and education are vital.

"Education includes classes, whether it is family planning classes, or fire safety classes. We have received a grant from State Farm, along with the Biloxi Chapter, that's going to allow us to purchase more fire prevention kits."

The kits also come with fire alarms - a small warning tool proven to save lives.

"I would rather spend a lot more money on prevention than on the response any day."