Petal man arrested in debris burn dispute

By Jeff Daley

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A Petal man was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly interfering with city firemen who were putting out debris pile fires he said set on a 15 acre property he jointly owns with Forrest County Supervisor Lynn Cartlidge.

The property is located on Highway 42 East near Petal High School. They are in the process of clearing the land for future development.

Sean Hancock says he was told by city code enforcement officer Carl Johnston that the city did not have a burn ordinance and it would be ok for him to burn the debris. When he approached Fire Chief Joe Hendry he was told the city would prefer he didn't burn the debris because of the danger to passing traffic and nearby residences. Instead he was told he would have to have the debris hauled off.

Hancock said he and Lyn Cartlidge had spoke with four of the five cities aldermen and he says each of the four gave him permission to go ahead with the burning. Mayor Hal Marx responded by saying that the permission to burn would have come from the board in the form of a vote.

Marx also said the city is in the process of reviewing their burn ordinance and changes will be forthcoming.

Hancock says, instead of bonding out he paid a $650 fine. He believes he did nothing wrong and that he and Cartlidge did everything they needed to do to get permission.

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