Three people feared dead in massive house fire

From Media Reports

STARKVILLE – Fire crews were still on the scene late Wednesday night looking through the rubble of a house that was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.

Four people were at the home on Blackjack and Bardwell Roads in Oktibbeha County, when a blaze broke out in the back bedroom.

Authorities said when they arrived, an elderly man, suffering from dementia, was in the backyard.

“It is unclear whether he was really involved in the fire itself. He was not injured in the fire. He was outside watching the fire when I got here,” Oktibbeha County Fire Coordinator Kirk Rosenhann, told WTVA.

The man was transported to OCH Regional Medical Center.

Firefighters said unaccounted for was a 92-year-old disabled woman, her 24-year-old grandson and 45-year-old Geraldine Rice, her caregiver.

Rice was also a volunteer firefighter for Oktibbeha County.

“We will not stop until we complete the operation” said Rosenhann.

The old wooden home continued to re-ignite forcing the rescue workers to deal with several obstacles.

“It had a great deal of interior furnishings, and there is an indoor swimming pool. Because of the magnitude of the debris, we brought in a county owned backhoe.”

The East Oktibbeha County volunteers also have the help of fellow agencies, including the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation and the recovery efforts continued.

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