Jones County, MS - A large two-story brick home in the Ovett Community of Jones County was destroyed by fire Monday night, August 24.
The home is owned by long-time Ovett residents Edward and Dessie Nichols, who were not at home at the time of the fire.
At 7:13 p.m., just after Ovett Volunteer Fire Department started their monthly business meeting, the pagers began sounding for a structure fire at 3707 Highway 15 South. Within minutes, all department fire units were in route, followed by fire units from the rest of Jones County Fire District 5 – Moselle, Union, and Johnson VFDs. Upon arrival the firefighters found heavy smoke bellowing out of the windows of both floors, and from the gable end vents of the approximately 9,000 square-foot two-story home, with flames shooting out of the front door and first floor front window.
State Certified Firefighters Coty Pitts and Seth Pierce with Ovett VFD made entry through the front door to begin an interior attack. Shortly after making entry, the roof began to collapse overhead, and the firefighters had to retreat out of the home, and try another way in. The fire had apparently made its way into the attic area of the tin roofed home, was running the length of the home, and in all directions. As firefighters and fire units arrived on scene, interior and exterior attacks were performed.
A second fire alarm was sent out requesting assistance from firefighters in District 4 - Glade, Powers, and M&M VFDs. Sandersville VFD, from District 3, was requested to move up and cover District 4 should another incident take place.
Approximately 50 firefighters and fire personnel with approximately 20 fire apparatuses battled the ragging fire for over four hours performing fire suppression, and overhaul operations.
Several firefighters were treated at the fire scene for heat exhaustion and minor injuries by EMServ Ambulance Service EMTs, and were able to return to their duties.
The home is deemed a total loss, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation by Jones County Sheriff’s Department Fire Investigator Sgt. Scott Gable, and the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Also responding to the fire were Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna, who served as Incident Commander; Mississippi Highway Patrol and Jones County Sheriff’s Department for traffic control; Dixie Electric Power Association; and Fishers of Men in Action (FOMA) from Magnolia Street Baptist Church, who provided bottled water and power drinks for the firefighters.
Story by Linda Cranford, Jones County Fire Service PIO