Meridian, Miss. Meridian fire officials are investigating the second fatal fire in less than a week in the city. It happened just after 10 p.m. Monday in the 300 block of 24th Street. Johnnie Lee Johnson died of apparent smoke inhalation.
Firefighters found the mobile home fully involved and crews quickly rushed to extinguish the flames.
But the first fire hydrant they hooked up to wasn't working properly and they were forced to hook up another line to another hydrant further away. Once the fire was extinguished, crews went in to discover the deceased man who lived there.
Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler says, "Once the fire department got there, they located a gentleman in the front part of the trailer. He appears to have been overcome by smoke and died of smoke inhalation; he was an 84-year-old black male."
The fire is believed to be accidental, and no foul play is suspected, however, the investigation is still ongoing.
This is the second fatal fire in just four days. Three people are dead as a result of these fires.
Fire Marshal Jason Collier says a smoke detector would have possibly saved a life. Collier stresses the importance of have working smoke detectors in your home.
"We've lost three people in the last three days just because they didn't have any smoke detectors in the house," said Collier. "It’s very important. Your life depends on it. Smoke detectors can save your life."
Not only should you have working smoke detectors, but you should change the batteries twice a year, and keep them in or near sleeping areas. Have a fire extinguisher near cooking areas. Using water on a grease fire is worse than doing nothing. Finally, you should have always call 911 at the first sign of a fire, and have a plan to get out of your home.