Fire Claims The Life Of Desoto County Man


By Toni Lepeska

DeSoto County officials advised citizens to take extra care with heating their homes after a 60-year-old man died in a blaze apparently caused by a fireplace.
James Steven Jones of 4760 Bright Road in the Hernando fire district died Monday at Regional One Medical Center hours after the incident. His wife, Sharon, remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday afternoon.
Officials received the first call about the blaze at 12:40 a.m. Sunday. The home was a total loss, signifying the extent of the blaze. Bridgetown, Lewisburg, Love and Hernando firefighters responded.
According to DeSoto County spokesman Tanner Kuntz, the couple made it out of their home. Both were taken to Regional One.
The cause of Mr. Jones’ death was smoke inhalation and thermal burns, said Coroner Jeff Pounders. It was the first fire fatality of 2017 in DeSoto County.
The fire is being investigated as an accident, Kuntz said. He said it was apparently caused by a wood-burning fireplace.
“If there’s a fire in the house, people shouldn’t try to put it out themselves,” Kuntz advised, however, he did not know if that was what occurred at the Jones residence. The details remain under investigation, he said.
Kuntz also advised space heaters should be used with caution. They should not be placed too close to flammable materials like curtains and furniture.