By Michael Stewart / Executive Editor
The Meridian Star
No one was injured in a Friday fire that heavily damaged a Meridian house.
Members of the Meridian Fire Department responded to a call of a fire in the 2400 block of Grandview Avenue shortly after noon.
When they arrived, the front of the small, single story house was engulfed in flames. No one was inside, Battalion Chief Howard Gibson said.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which charred the inside of the wood-frame house.
"We are still investigating the cause of the fire," Gibson said.
Caren Chaney lives in a house adjacent to the one that caught fire.
Chaney said she was asleep when a neighbor banged on her door, waking her up, and informed her that the house next door was on fire.
"I came out on my front porch and could see nothing but flames shooting from that window right there," Chaney said, pointing to the front of the fire-damaged home.
Gibson said both the electricity and gas were shut off to the house that caught fire.
Chaney said, however, that a man was living at the house.
Another neighbor, Ronnie Neely, whose home sits on an adjacent street, said he was not aware the fire had broken out until he heard a fire truck drive by.
"I went outside and saw the house glowing yellow from the fire," Neely said, adding that he knew the man who was staying at the burned house wasn't there because his truck wasn't parked outside.
"I don't know what could have started the fire," Neely said. "From what I was told there hasn't been any electricity on there for two or three months. I'm just glad nobody was in there."
There has been at least two fatal fires in Lauderdale County this year.
On June 23, Cosey Moore, 76, of 616 Old Country Club Road East in Marion, died in a 4 p.m. house fire.
Two people, Clyde Pendergrass, 70, and Conner Pendergrass, 2, died in an April 19 mobile home fire at 5008 Wright Spur Road in the community of Toomsuba.
"It's a firefighter's worst fear," Billy Stuckey, fire chief for the Toomsuba Fire and Rescue Department, said following the April 19 fire.
A third person, David Pendergrass, was transported to a burn center in Jackson for treatment following that fire.