One dead, two injured in fire at Racquet Club Condominiums in Gulfport


One person is dead and two more are injured after a deadly fire broke out in Gulfport this morning.

Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer confirmed that 42-year-old Claude Thornhill was pronounced dead at the scene, suffering from smoke inhalation.

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This happened at the Racquet Club Town Homes, just off of Courthouse Road on Commerce Street in Gulfport. We are told the fire started between 6:15 and 6:30 in the morning.

Firefighters rescued two people off the roof and took them to the hospital. They were treated for smoke inhalation and are expected to recover.

Sources say Thornhill helped the other two out the building and went back in to rescue their pets and did not make it out. Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt said, “When they arrived they found there was heavy smoke and some flames coming from this one condominium unit, and there was also two people trapped on the roof, one of them had a broken leg and the other had some pretty good burn injuries. So, we had crews try to keep the fire away from the people that were trapped on the roof and trying to knock that fire down and a different crew trying to go inside because we did get a report that there was possible someone trapped inside the building still. So those two operations were occurring simultaneously.”

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The investigation is still ongoing. News 25 will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

Chief Beyerstedt wants to remind everyone to make sure their smoke detectors are working and if you need a smoke detector to call the fire station and they will come install one in your home free of charge.