A Vicksburg man died and his nephew escaped through a window when fire destroyed their home Monday.
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
A Vicksburg man lost his life in an early morning fire that forced his nephew to escape through a window.
Investigators said flames quickly consumed the home and trapped the victim inside the burning structure. The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen.
Vicksburg fire officials said the structure was fully engulfed in flames when units arrived. Firefighters had to retreat just minutes before the building caved in on them.
"They suppressed the fire first and then as they were doing so the roof fell in and that complicated us finding his body, but at the same time we believe smoke caused his death," said Vicksburg Fire Chief Charles Atkins.
According to investigators, Derrick Porter, 26, attempted to get his uncle out of his bedroom as the flames advanced.
"He tried to make an entrance but it was too much heat and smoke so he came out himself and basically got out through the front window," said Atkins.
Flowers and a small wooden cross are left in front of the home in the 1600 block of South Street where Willie Williams lost his life early Monday morning. The cross reads "Rest in peace Uncle."
The 46-year-old died after fire swept through the home. His body was found in his bedroom.
Several residents along South Street did not want to comment but said Williams was called "Uncle" and was loved by all his neighbors.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the Vicksburg man may have suffered smoke inhalation. An autopsy has been scheduled.
Vicksburg's fire chief said there were no smoke detectors in the home, which may have prevented this tragic death.
"Get some smoke detectors and place them properly in the house. That probably could have helped this situation had they had some," added the fire chief.
The American Red Cross is assisting Porter, who lost everything in that fire. This is the second fatal fire in Vicksburg this year.
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