Fire destroys downtown photography studio|[05/29/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2008

FIRE & CRIME * From staff reports

Flames tore through Amanda Monsour Photography at 1517 Washington St. Wednesday, damaging it and a neighboring business.

No one was inside the studio or at its apartment space above at the time, and no injuries were reported.

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The business had closed just a half hour before Vicksburg firefighters received a call at about 5:43 p.m., Vicksburg Fire Investigator Leslie Decareaux said, adding firefighters controlled it by 8:09 p.m.

Though the fire remained under investigation by the fire department, Monsour said she believed it started in a storage room near the middle of the building’s business space.

“I guess I’ll have to completely gut the place,” Monsour said. “I’ll be doing a lot of on-location stuff.”

Monsour, the wife of state Rep. Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg, established the downtown studio in 2006 and had a new electrical system installed, she said. It specialized in portraits, weddings and sports photography, she said.

At least two people were believed to have occupied the apartment space above. The building’s owner, Daryl Hollingsworth, declined comment on the building’s tenants. Though flames did not spread to Vicksburg Realty at 1519 Washington St., employees expected business there to be down for at least the rest of the week.

“We’ve got to clean the soot,” said Stanley Martin of Vicksburg Realty.

VFD’s Ladder 14 truck, dispatched often to fight even minor fires among the old buildings lining Washington Street, responded but did not set up, Decareaux said.

Shooting victim remains critical at local hospital

A Vicksburg man remained in critical condition at River Region Medical Center this morning after being shot Wednesday during an early-morning card game, a hospital spokesman said.

Chester Ross, 52, no address available, was shot once in the abdomen at 12:12 at 535 Hutson St., police said. Arrested and charged with aggravated assault was 59-year-old Jerry Lumpkin, who lives at that address. He was in the Issaquena County Jail without bond.

Witnesses told police the argument started over a card game. Reports varied over what sparked it, including drugs, though none were found at the scene.

However, police said both men had been drinking.

Shots reported fired at U.S. 80 motel

Vicksburg police searched for a suspect following reports of shots fired at the Hillcrest Motel, 40 U.S. 80.

The owner of a 1987 Honda Accord was leaving the hotel when shots were fired at the vehicle, Vicksburg police Lt. Bobby Stewart said.

No injuries were reported, Stewart said.

Lawn mower stolen on Beechwood Road

One residential burglary was reported Wednesday in Warren County.

A lawnmower valued at $190 was reported missing at 7:10 p.m. from a home in the 500 block of Beechwood Road.