Family of five kids displaced by high water loses home to flames


Last Thursday, the Garner family was scrambling to save everything they could as floodwater filled their home in Shady Grove. 

On Sunday, fire destroyed everything that the family of five children couldn’t save from their house at 1018 Lamar Drive. 

“When it flooded, we got our kids out then our animals,” Sandra Garner said. “We saved a TV and the kids’ tablets we got them for Christmas … (but) by the time we got out, (the water) was to my waist.” 

Her husband Josh Garner returned to the house on Friday to start cleaning, she said, and he and two other men were there working on Sunday, too, shortly before the fire started. 

They were “cleaning and saving anything they could and cleaning so he could start rebuilding,” Mrs. Garner said. 

Officials from the Jones County Emergency Operations Center and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency had been at the home to do a damage assessment earlier on Sunday. 

“We got a call that the house was on fire, so everything we were going to be able to save burned,” Mrs. Garner said. 

Volunteers from Shady Grove and Sharon responded, but the home was engulfed in flames and ammunition was discharging inside when they arrived. 

No injuries were reported. The Garners lived in the home with their five children — sons Lukas, 8, Tanner, 5 and Josh, 1, and daughters Alex, 5, and Lillian, 4 — and another relative. They lost everything they owned, including a pickup that was heavily damaged. 

“I lost things that my grandpa gave me when he passed away,” Mrs. Garner said. “All my kids’ bracelets they had on when they were born, baby pictures, the first thing all my kids wore when they were born …” 

They also lost the outfits they were wearing for family photos on Christmas. 

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. 

• To help the family, call 601-433-9378. 

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