South MS woman severely burned escaping fire she says was intentionally set

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:45 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A south Mississippi woman is recovering in a Baton Rouge burn unit after her home was destroyed in a fire she says was set by her estranged husband. It is a cautionary tale for other women. Carmella Causey says ignoring the red flags in her relationship could have gotten her killed.

“He told me on numerous occasions he was gonna kill me,” Causey said from a Baton Rouge hospital burn unit.

The Amite County woman is grateful to be alive after escaping a fire that destroyed her Gloster home last week. She believes her estranged husband, Willie Causey, is responsible. The retired community activist suffered second and third-degree burns to her face, head, arms, and buttocks.

She was home after being released from the hospital for congestive heart failure and COPD treatment.

“I remember running through the fire,” said Causey. “I remember landing on the ground and rolling over. I remember trying to call 911.″

However, she was unable to dial the numbers. Dispatchers called her back, sending fire, police, and an ambulance. Alvin Dickens was in the home at the time and escaped through a window.

Dickens said Willie Causey spoke to him from the porch before the fire started.

“He told me, ‘You stay in there. I got something for you. Stay on in there. I got something for you, mf. Stay in there,’” said Dickens. “And about that time, that’s when the dogs went to barking, and I got up, jumped up, and fire was blazed up on the porch.”

Willie Causey made a Facebook post Monday denying the allegations. He has not been reached for comment.

“The case is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and we have no further leads,” said Gloster Police Chief Carlos Lee. “No other information is available at this time.”

The 61-year-old will receive medical treatment for two to three weeks. She fears for her life and hopes this is a warning for other women.

“Domestic violence is real, and we as women have to look for the flags and take the flags serious,” added Causey.

Her dogs that alerted her to the fire were killed in the blaze. The Gloster resident lost everything and is now homeless. [She] had no insurance and is in need of assistance with her recovery. If you would like to help, contact MSMove.org at 662-205-6683.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.