Christmas Eve fire destroys Gulf Hills home

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)-A late morning fire destroyed a home in the Gulf Hills community of Jackson County this Christmas Eve.

Eight fire trucks and some 30 firefighters responded to the stubborn blaze.

Flames shot through the shingles and raced through the attic, scorching the icicle decorations along the roof line.

No one was home when the blaze began. A passer-by saw the flames and made the emergency call.

"The house is a total loss. I mean we got here within two minutes and it was already breached through the ceiling and the roof," said Chuck Orr, the assistant fire chief for Ft. Bayou Fire Department.

The first team of firefighters quickly called for back-up. A billowing plume of smoke from the fast moving fire could be seen for miles.

Ft. Bayou fireman Greg Miller was first on the scene.

"A lot of heavy smoke and fire. Just heavy smoke and fire," said Miller, "It got up in the attic and ran all the way across the house. We just had to find a way to get it to stop."

More than two dozen firefighters helped fight the stubborn blaze. A continuous line of tanker trucks delivered thousands of gallons of water to the scene.

"We use tanker trucks. Do what we call water shuttle. It allows us to keep enough water in the trucks to be able to fight the fire," said Miller.

The owner of the house, Daniel Bomar, said he and his wife Katy have lived there for about two years. Neither was home when the blaze began.

"It's really a shame for the family. We're doing the best we can to save what we can," said Miller.

Unfortunately, there was little they could do despite eight firetrucks and 30 firefighters.

"It's a challenge. It's a real challenge. The whole attic is gone. We had a partially collapsed roof on the back end. The east wall collapsed. We're just hitting the hot spots right now," said firefighter Orr.

"At one point, I had to move people out because it was getting too dangerous on the inside. And we started a defensive attack from the outside," he said.

There's no word yet on exactly where the fire began or what caused it. The house was a total loss.