Investigations Begin for Apartment Fire in D'Iberville

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Updated: 3/05 7:01 pm
Now that the fire has been put out, many questions still remain. Local agencies are analyzing what happened and what's next. The building is charred and residents today are piecing their lives back together after losing everything in their homes. Police have now accounted for everyone, including the woman believed to reside in the unit that started the blaze. The question of the day is why. The fire in D'Iberville last night was successfully contained to one building after other agencies put their hands in, saving lives. Chief Wayne Payne of the D’Iberville Police Department says, “Right now we believe everybody is accounted for and everybody got out safely.” Two nearby agencies helped dump water on the blaze and kept the flames from jumping to other buildings, all while providing the extra resources D'Iberville firefighters needed.

Chief Joe Boney of the Biloxi Fire Department says, "Their truck was actually in the shop in Mobile being repaired, so they didn’t have a lighted truck, so they called and requested us to send a lighted truck ourselves and Keesler." The Arbor View Apartments were built in multiple phases between 1997 and 1999. The building is up to code considering the time of construction, a time when sprinklers systems were not required in each unit. D.A. ‘Hank’ Rogers, D’Iberville Building Official, says, "Some of the original buildings may have been built under the 1991 Southern Building Code Council. Some of the subsequent structures were put up under the ‘97 council." Rogers says Arbor View was built at a time when the only fire protection required in apartments were draft stops, walls in the attic that stop air flow during a fire. Rogers also says, "According to my records, there was no requirement to put sprinklers in. Of course I don’t have the original drawings. All those are with the county." The apartments were built when D’Iberville did not have its own building department. Harrison County did all inspections. News 25 contacted the county, but they are not required to keep records longer than ten years.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation. Payne also says, "Today, the state Fire Marshal Service along with A.T.F. will be coming by and beginning their investigations." Should the Mississippi fire marshals or A.T.F. find anything suspicious, D'Iberville police will be called in to conduct a criminal investigation. At this time, police say they have no reason to believe arson or foul play was behind the fire that has shaken the D'Iberville community. News 25 will continue to bring you updates once the details behind the fire become available.
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