Fire causes extensive damage to MS State Extension office building in Poplarville
The Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service office building located adjacent to Hwy 11 and the campus of Pearl River Community College in Poplarville received extensive damage from a fire early Thursday morning.
Pearl River County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin said the building’s north side was struck by lightning. Firefighters contained the blaze before it reached the Extension office, but damage to the rest of the structure was too extensive for future use. No one was in the building at the time of the incident.
Lumpkin said the office will move to a temporary location, 204 South Julia Street in Poplarville. The facility is scheduled to be operational by April 16. The main office number, 601-403-2280, is still active for clients in need of assistance. MSU Extension operations in Pearl River County will take place at this location indefinitely.
Poplarville Fire Chief Jason Bannister released a statement on social media with details on the fire. The statement from Chief Bannister states:
"At approximately 0321 hours (3:21 a.m.) this morning your Poplarville firefighters responded to the 400 block of Highway 11 North in the City of Poplarville to a reported structure with smoke showing.
Upon arrival, 7 mins after being dispatched, the first engine company could see fire venting from the roof line of the DHS Offices.
A countywide ALL CALL for Mutual Aid was requested which resulted in the following departments sending Firefighters, Chief Officers and equipment to our aid. Amackertown FD, Derby FD, North Central FD, Northeast FD, Henleyfield FD,Carriere FD, & McNeil FD. In addition the Poplarville Police Department, the Pearl River County Sheriff's Department, and PRCC Police Department also responded to provide traffic control and assistance.
Specialized heavy equipment & personal was also provided by the Pearl River County Road Department.
In total, approximately 30 to 35 Firefighters, Fire Officers, Police Officers and County employees responded to this incident.
After extended firefighting operations, this incident was brought under control at approximately 8:30 a.m. All fire personal cleared the scene at 11:14 a.m.
Due to the type of construction, this was an extremely difficult fire to extinguish. There were no injuries to fire personnel and many county offices in this complex were saved from fire damage.
The Firefighters and Officers of the Poplarville Fire Department cannot express our gratitude enough for the assistance provided by these agencies."