JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Jones County resident who was severely burned in a fire Tuesday has died, according to the Jones County coroner.
According to the Jones County Sheriff's Department, the resident who died was a 55-year-old man. The coroner is not releasing the name of the victim at this time.
The fire was ruled as an accident, according to the JCSD.
Multiple Jones County Volunteer Fire Departments were called to the scene of a large and fast-moving woods fire on and near County Line Road off of Highway 15 South Tuesday afternoon.
Initially, fire departments were requested to assist medical services on scene by establishing a landing zone for a helicopter ambulance due to an individual sustaining severe burns. However, when fire units arrived, they quickly realized that a large, intense woods fire had gotten out-of-control for reasons unknown.
The individual that was injured sustained what was believed to be life-threatening injuries and is in extremely critical condition. He was transported by helicopter ambulance to a hospital in Hattiesburg for immediate treatment.
After initial firefighters from Glade Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene, it became evident that the situation with the woods fire was quickly getting out-of-control and threatening homes and structures. Firefighters on scene then requested assistance from surrounding fire departments, including Ovett, Powers, Union, Johnson, M&M, Ovett and Moselle, as well as the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
Firefighters were on scene for several hours attempting to contain the blaze to prevent further damage to other nearby homes and structures. According to reports, two homes and five out-buildings were completely destroyed by the fire.
Plumes of smoke towering above the trees could be seen for miles, and flames reached twenty to thirty feet into the sky. Due to firefighters' quick response and professionalism, less than twenty acres of land burned, but the intensity of the fire and how quickly it was moving made it difficult for firefighters to save the structures that were already surrounded by flames. In addition to back burning and establishing a fire barrier around the blaze, firefighters and Forestry used thousands of gallons of water to protect surrounding homes and families.
This incident continues to serve as a reminder of how quickly a fire can get out-of-control due to the severe dryness Jones County is currently experiencing, and the community is fortunate to have men and women that volunteer their time to ensure the safety of others and their property.
Emergency personnel on scene included Glade, Ovett, Powers, Union, Johnson, M&M, Ovett and Moselle Volunteer Fire Departments, Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna, Jones County Fire Investigator Scott Gable, Jones County Sheriff's Department, Jones County District Attorney's Office, Jones County Emergency Operations Center, Jones County Fire Public Information Officer Caleb Worrell and Mississippi Forestry Commission.