House fire tops off busy week for fire department

A house fire that took three hours to extinguish at an elevated home off Back Bay capped off a week for the Biloxi Fire Department that included a 41 percent increase in emergency medical calls and a 12 percent increase in fire calls.

The house fire aside, “you’re going to see more emergency medical calls when you have more people in town,” Fire Chief Joe Boney said.  “That’s what happened this week, with Cruisin’ the Coast and more people on the road and out in the beautiful weather.”

To handle the traffic-congested roads over the weekend, the fire department had positioned more resources – an additional fire truck and an additional medical unit – in west Biloxi to respond quicker.

“We’ve found that the quicker we can get eyes on an incident, the better we can respond,” Boney said, adding that despite the increase in calls there were no major injuries. The increase in fire calls was primarily due to a half dozen vehicle fires over the week.

The Sunday afternoon house fire, on the other hand, was a challenge for firefighters.

“People are building houses stronger these days,” Boney said, “and there’s certainly nothing wrong with making them better able to withstand hurricanes and more energy efficient. The reality, however, is that some of these things make firefighting more challenging. This particular house was essentially a three-story structure, with double decking on the roof and sprayed-in insulation. The roof was pitched in such a way that we couldn’t stand on it, and the double-decking made it difficult to access. So we had to use aerial access.”
See photos from house fire.