Victim of Meridian house fire remembered as kind, compassionate

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Authorities survey the scene of a Tuesday morning house fire on 35th Avenue in Meridian which claimed the life of a 63-year-old man. Investigators believe the fire was started by a window air conditioning unit that was plugged into an extension cord. 

A man who lost his life in a house fire in Meridian early Tuesday morning is being remembered for his kindness and compassion.

Victim of Meridian house fire remembered as kind, compassionate

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Willie Triplett, 63, died in a house fire in Meridian early Tuesday morning. 

Willie Triplett, 63, died in his sleep from smoke inhalation at his home on 35th Ave., said Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler. 

Mr. Triplett's wife, daughter, grandson and godchild were injured in the fire and are recovering at a hospital in Jackson, according to Mr. Triplett's daughter, Dawn Marie Wash. 

Mr. Triplett was a member of Abundant Life Tabernacle and worked at Alliance Health Center for 22 years, Wash said.  

“He loved the patients at Alliance,” she said. 

“He was really a sweet man,” said Vickie Reed, whose late mother once lived across the street from the Triplett family. “He made sure people in the neighborhood were okay.” 

Reed, who stopped by the Triplett home to check on the family Tuesday morning, said Mr. Triplett would take out her mother’s trash and pick up her mail.

“He told me ‘anything she needs, you let me know’,” she said. 

Investigators believe the fire was started by a window air conditioning unit that was plugged into an extension cord, said Meridian Fire Department Deputy Chief Jason Collier. 

One firefighter received minor injuries in the fire, he said. 

“All the firefighters did a really good job and it was tough,” Collier said.

Collier said the investigation is closed and the home is a total loss.

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