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Eight left homeless in boarding house fire

Capt. Greg Harrison sprays out a hot spot during a fire at 808 Main St. Thursday as Pvt. Adam Boren looks on. (Meredith Spencer The Vicksburg Post)

[6/4/04]Three fires were battled in Vicksburg and Warren County Thursday, the worst of which left eight tenants of a boarding house without a place to live.

No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

“I lost everything I had,” said Bobby Funches, 43, who had lived in the house at 808 Main St. for about a year. “I don’t even have any shoes.”

Funches said she returned from work at Beechwood Inn and was looking for something under the bed.

She attempted to use a cigarette lighter to illuminate the dark space, and the box springs and mattress caught on fire.

“It was just so quick,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything catch fire like that.”

She said she tried to extinguish the blaze with buckets of water from the bathroom.

Smoke and flames were visible when firefighters arrived, and no one was injured in the blaze that was reported to 911 at 2:51 p.m.

“When we pulled on the scene, fire was rolling out,” said Deputy Fire Chief Rose Shaifer. “It was involved.”

The structure is owned by Dale Maxwell of Vicksburg, Shaifer said.

The Vicksburg Area Chapter of the American Red Cross was providing the tenants with shelter, clothing and food.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Shaifer said.

About an hour earlier Thursday, a grease fire at Shoney’s, 3316 Pemberton Square Blvd., damaged the grill, kitchen vent and suppression system.

The third blaze was reported at 6:42 p.m. at 102 Villanova Drive.

Volunteers from Culkin and Northeast fire departments had the kitchen fire under control in a few minutes.

The kitchen was heavily damaged, and smoke was reported throughout the house, said Kelly Worthy, Warren County volunteer fire coordinator.