Purvis High School field house destroyed by fire

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - The Purvis High School field house was completely destroyedby fire shortly before 1:00 p.m. today. Multiple fire departments from around thecounty responded to the blaze that gutted the facility.

"It included everything, our weight room, field house,storage, our dressing facility so you know it's a big loss particularly thistime of year to try to get everything pulled back together," said Purvis Headcoach Perry Wheat.

Firefighters could be seen taking off the memorial plaquefrom the Jack R. Craft Athletic Field House exterior wall as others battled theflames.

"We lost everything, but we are going to work through it, wehave already had a ton of people and coaches call and that's one thing aboutcoaches, they are competitive, but when something bad happens to someone theyjust are there to help you," said Wheat.

Four firefighters collapsed due to heat and one wastransported to Forrest General Hospital by ambulance. Departments from PineRidge, Purvis, Oak Grove, Northeast Lamar, Southeast and Southwest Lamar allresponded to the scene.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time, fireinvestigators on the scene noted that it would be a while before they couldbegin searching the building due to the intense heat.

"The Tornadoes will come back stronger than ever," saidLamar County Interim Superintendent Tess Smith.