House fire victim’s family speaks out

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - An accidental fire early Tuesday claimed the life of a Meridian man and injured four other people.

Members of the family later spoke to Newscenter 11 but did not want to appear on camera.

"By 2:00 in the morning they notified me that my dad's house was on fire.
"It’s like a dream. It's unreal," says Mary Triplett, whose father died in the fire.

"I’m going to miss him and I love him," says his son, Robert Triplett.

Firefighters responded to a house fire at 1820 35th Avenue about 1:15 a.m. They got reports that five people were trapped inside.

"By this time the fire had grown. It was going through the roof and partially collapsed. We had to pull people out. We got it a little under control where we could get back in. That's when we found the fifth victim who had deceased at the scene," says Deputy Fire Chief Jason Collier.

The family says it's still in shock.

"I had just seen my dad Sunday when we were shopping together. He told me five or six times until I was out of his sight of how much he loves me. Not knowing that Sunday was going to be the last day to see him alive," said Mary Triplett.

"We lost a good man. It's hard for me to put in words because words can't explain how good of a man he was to us in our lives," said Robert Triplett.

Collier and the state fire marshal's office verified the cause of the fire.

"It appeared to be a window air conditioning unit was plugged into an extension cord. The fire started when those two things plugged together. The extension cord is not rated for the amperage that the air conditioner will draw. It was definitely the cause," says Collier.

One adult and two children were flown to a Jackson hospital for treatment and one was transported by ambulance. Their conditions are not known as of this posting.