ST. ANDREWS, Miss. (WLOX) - A family is counting their blessings after a fire destroyed their Jackson County condo. It happened around 9 a.m. in the St. Andrews community.
“It was such a rush to wake up to this morning to just go from nothing to everything is happening right now,” said Britnee Erickson. She had just woken up when she began smelling smoke.
“At first I didn’t think it was really anything. And then I go upstairs and I was in the bathroom, and I noticed smoke outside the window, and I started hollering to my mom," she said.
That smoke was coming from next door as a fire grew inside their neighbor Melissa Rice’s unit. Rice was at work when she got the call.
“My main concern at that time because my kids were at school, my main concern was my animals, I was told they got out, and so - except for the cat. The cat perished, but the three dogs got out, I was so relieved,” she said.
And though that’s a relief, she can’t help but worry about what’s next.
"I'm thinking about where are we going to stay. I'm thinking about my kids' school clothes. I just bought them all new stuff for school. All that is gone."
More than a dozen firefighters from the Gulf Park Estates/St. Andrews Fire Department and the Northwest Jackson County, Escatawpa, Fountain Bleu and Vancleave fire departments battled the fire.
“Had the fire under control in about 30 minutes. With the heat kind of had us delayed a little bit. The fire was contained to one apartment, it didn’t get the whole apartment complex building," said Wayne Emile.
Now, investigators are working to determine what sparked the fire, as residents begin the challenge of moving forward, glad things weren’t any worse.
“Items are replaceable, but I was just relieved that every one was okay," said Rice.