Early Morning Fire Destroys Meridian House

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Meridian, Miss. Meridian firefighters had a fully involved house fire under control on 10th Street between 27th and 28th Avenues about 4:40 this morning after it began around 3:00 AM. Fire Chief Anthony Clayton says the single person inside the house was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

"The one occupant that we know of has been taken to the hospital by Metro for smoke inhalation, so right now we're digging out, and we're obviously concerned about safety."

It's still unknown what caused the fire, which was what Clayton describes as "fully involved" when the fire department arrived. The firefighters took a defensive stance with this fire since it was so large, meaning they tried to keep it from spreading before being able to put it out.

"What the guys were basically doing was trying to stop fire extending and causing another structure to catch, so they were successful in that mission. After that, you try to contain the fire where it is."

Most house fires occur during the winter months, and are usually linked to space heaters. Chief Clayton says this has been an active summer for fires, which is unusual.

"This is not normal. We've had several structure fires lately. Right now we're dealing with an outbreak of carelessness I believe, and we're working them."

Firefighters spent all day at the scene combing through debris trying to determine the source of the fire.