Mobile home fire near Houlka kills elderly woman

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

HOULKA – A Thursday night fire in Chickasaw County totally destroyed a mobile home and resulted in the death of an elderly woman.

The Houlka Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched north of Houlka at 6:10 p.m. and found heavy smoke and flames coming from the double-wide trailer when they arrived on the scene.

“An elderly woman was found inside and, as with all fire fatalities, we are investigating the exact cause of death,” said Andy Harmon, Chickasaw County Coroner. “At this point everything looks like an accident and we have seen nothing that makes us feel any different.”

The woman has been identified at Carolyn Buggs, 76, of 177 County Road 242. Harmon said the Bugg’s husband had left briefly to go to the grocery and when he returned found the trailer on fire and called 911.

“The trailer was fully involved when we got there,” said Terry Short, Houlka Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief. “We had our pumper and tanker on the scene and Becker (VFD) sent two pumpers and Thorn (VFD) sent a pumper an two tankers. We got it out quickly because we were told someone was inside.”

Short said firefighters had to pull the electric meter. He said firefighters were on the scene more than two hours. Short said the exact cause of the fire has not been determined.

“She was found near the door and not near a stove or refrigerator,” said Short. “The trailer was totally destroyed and we are not sure if the fire started in the kitchen or somewhere else.”

Short said he was pleased with the aggressive nature of volunteers fighting the fire.

“This is our first fire fatality in about four years,” said Short. “Things like this bother our guys because they do this to help people. Everybody knows everybody in this community and this hurt our guys and our community.”