Lowndes County firefighters investigate cause of fatal house fire

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- “We don’t like these kinds of calls of course, it is a tragedy for our whole community,” said Neal Austin, Lowndes County Fire Coordinator.

Austin said this house fire was no ordinary fire.

“Upon the first three units that arrived, the house was fully involved. So, they tried extinguishing efforts there. Because of the size of the fire, we did call in district one, so district three was the primary responder. We did call in backup units from there to try and increase our manpower,” said Austin.

First responders have a tough job. Volunteer firefighters do the job for little or no money, but they play an important role in keeping the community safe.

When a deadly fire happens, they take it personally because they are there to help their neighbors in need.

“In rural areas like we are now, that is what you have, volunteer fire departments. Volunteers do this for their community. They try to serve. One of the things they do on a regular basis is respond to fires and try to keep our neighbors as safe as possible,” said Austin.

Austin also said this situation is a sad reminder to make sure your smoke alarm is working properly. It’s also important to thoroughly check your house before you leave and before going to bed at night.

“It is important to take a couple of seconds extra and make sure your house is safe before you leave. You just want to make a special effort to double-check everything before you go,” said Austin.

“That is your early warning system especially when you are taking a nap or at the other end of the house. So, a smoke alarm is very important, and it is a key process for you to be able to get out of your house,” said Austin.

The state fire marshal is investigating how the fire started.

The names of the victims have not been released. Three of the injured in this house fire remain in the hospital.

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