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Fire Consumes House That Woman’s Late Husband Built 60 Years Ago

This house on County Road 515 in Alcorn County was destroyed Wednesday night in a fire. (Photo by Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today)

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

Alcorn County resident Mergie Duncan, 84, lost her husband in February, and on Wednesday night she lost the house he built in 1958 when it went up in flames.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire that consumed the house at 219 County Road 515 southwest of Biggersville at about 8:40 p.m., said Southwest Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kerry Cummings.

Duncan was at the house with her daughter, grandson and three great grandchildren, ages 5, 6 and 7, when the fire started.

Family members were watching TV when the fire started. Carson Stephens, 7, discovered the fire in the kitchen when he went to use the restroom. They tried to extinguish the blaze with salt and water, but the fire was moving too fast, and they had to get out, said Dawson Godsey, 15.

The cause of the fire was unknown but appeared to have started in the kitchen, said Cummings.

It was believed that the age of the house may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.

Duncan said she had lived there almost 60 years since she was in her 20s and lost everything she owned, including her dentures. They had to escape the house barefooted, she added.

“I’m going to miss everything in that house,” said Duncan, whose late husband, Willie Alfred Duncan, built it.

Asked what she was going to do now, Duncan said, “Lord, I don’t know.”

Her 84th birthday was two days before the fire.

Numerous departments responded to the blaze, said Cummings, adding, “We had a big crew out here last night.”

Fire departments included Southwest, Biggersville, Rienzi, Jacinto, Kossuth, Glen and Pisgah as well as the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office.

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About Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell is the news editor for Corinth Today. He can be reached at 662-872-9907 or news@corinthtoday.com.