Man Dead in Early Morning Pascagoula House Fire

Residents in a quiet lakeside Pascagoula neighborhood woke up Tuesday morning to sirens, smoke, and according to witnesses, an explosion.

Polite, quiet, and kept to himself are words used to describe the man who neighbors say lived in his house in Pascagoula for more than 35 years, which was nearly reduced to ashes early Tuesday morning. While the official autopsy is still pending and authorities are not releasing the name of the victim, neighbors and family say the man who died was Rick Evans, who they remember fondly. Willie Caruso, a neighbor and former Biloxi firefighter, says, "He seemed like a nice guy and the neighborhood is going to miss him."

The day started off early for many in the Lakeside subdivision, as they were awoken by flashing lights and sirens. Bill Halcomb, neighbor to the victim since 1980, says, "Right around 4:15, there was quite a big boom and the fire trucks and everything came up, but the house was already burning big time, but it was enough noise it woke me up."

Almost the entire neighborhood gathered in the firelight and feared the worst. Caruso also says, "Everybody saw his truck in front of the house realized he was probably in it and everybody was upset. It was just a tragic day."

The smell of smoke still lingers heavily at the corner of Chateau and Orleans Street, where an early morning fire claimed the life of one Pascagoula man, leaving neighbors mourning the loss of Evans and concerned about fire safety in their own homes. Halcomb also says, "I’ve got a lot of smoke detectors and fire alarms, makes you want to go check on all of them."

Hester Lee, another neighbor, closes, "We don’t leave anything on whenever we leave or go to bed, candles, heaters, anything like that. It’s scary for it to happen so close to our house."

The Pascagoula Fire Department suspects an electrical issue as the cause of the fire. The fire department has completed its investigation and has handed off their findings to the Pascagoula Police Department.

Categories: Local News, News

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