It's been two days since the fire that shook D'Iberville, and now officials are trying to piece together that puzzle. The Arbor View Apartments that burned Tuesday night are now the center of an ongoing investigation. The fire has displaced dozens of D’Iberville residents. Thursday, different agencies brought out the heavy equipment to dig into what is still a mysterious blaze. Deanna Cannette, the Property Manager of the Arbor View Apartments, says, "As I was coming to the property, I could see it blazing from the Shell station and I knew it was bad." Bad it was. The fire at Arbor View Apartments Tuesday night destroyed 16 units and badly burned four others, all of them filled with residents that were safely evacuated. Cannette also says, "With 20 families displaced, right now, it’s making sure everyone has somewhere to go." Arbor View properties put their displaced residents in lodges and available apartments. D'Iberville Fire Chief, Gerald Smith, spent the day looking at the remains of the fire that he says was hard to battle.
Smith says, “With this fire, with the absence of a sprinkler system, which was not against code when the building was built, we didn’t have any help from inside the structure.” A.T.F. agents and Mississippi fire marshals have been sifting through the rubble to establish the cause of the blaze. Joel Lee, an A.T.F. agent, says, “Once we determine that, we will make the determination if there is any arson or crime. What we find will determine how we proceed with this matter.” It has been more than 36 hours since the Arbor View fire, and smoke can still be smelled in the air. Since 8 a.m. this morning, A.T.F. agents have been on scene investigating the aftermath of one of the biggest fires in D'Iberville history. Smith also says, “It was very unique because of its size. Out of 20 years being with the City of D'Iberville, this is the biggest fire I’ve responded to.” Arbor View and D'Iberville officials alike say they are counting their blessings that everyone is safe.
Cannette closes, "We survived Katrina, which was catastrophic. We have true survivors here and we have people ready to come home." The A.T.F. says they will investigate every day until the details behind the catastrophe are uncovered. As always, News 25 will bring you updates on the recovery from this catastrophe.