Eight families lose everything in Pearl apartment fire - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Eight families lose everything in Pearl apartment fire

PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

At least eight families have lost everything in an apartment fire in Pearl. There were frantic and desperate moments for Pearl firefighters who were told people may be trapped inside the burning building.

The call came in shortly before five Friday evening. Flames were shooting from this apartment building at the Village Apartments in Pearl on Crosspark Drive.

"This was the first day back to school and we were concerned, do we have kids that got home early and are they in the building?", said Pearl Fire Chief, Carl Kibby.

Chief Kibby says Pearl Police helped tenants get out of the burning building.

"Most of them self rescued themselves, but the Pearl Police Department arrived on the scene and did a fabulous job of getting everybody out and they also did an accountability check with family members to make sure nobody was left behind", Chief Kibby said.

In addition to dealing with the flames and smoke, high temperatures didn't help firemen who were rotated out to prevent heat exhaustion.

"We tried to rehab the guys, tried to keep them hydrated and you know with the equipment that they have on, it gets extremely hot", said Chief Kibby.

Eight families lived in the building, including Betty Gray and her two grandchildren. She says it was the first day of school for her, 10 year old grandson Michael. He was home alone when the fire broke out.

"He was getting everything together to go out to play and he heard all the smoke alarms go off in the apartment so he grabbed the cat and he ran out", said Gray.

The building is a total loss and we are told most of the families have lost everything they own. Chief Kibby says apartment management is assisting families with housing arrangements. He also tells us area churches as well as the Red Cross are reaching out to provide help.

Fire investigators will be working throughout the night to track down the cause.

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