Rescue efforts had to cease while Khanh Van Duong was trapped inside because the fire and smoke were too strong for responders to get in.
A Mississippi man helped his wife and child to safety after a fire started inside the family’s home on Highway 29 North in Soso. The fire broke out around 12:40 on Monday early morning. Khanh Van Duong alerted his wife Vinh, 54, and daughter Khanh, 30 about the fire and told them to escape, which saved their lives. He then attempted to save the family’s pets but died before he was able to do so.
The 56-year-old father went into the burning house to rescue their 10 dogs. Duong's body was later found in the rear of the home alongside the bodies of two adult dogs and eight puppies. Duong was “about a foot from the door” when he collapsed, according to investigators, the Leader-Call reported. Duong was of Vietnamese descent and had been working as a chicken farmer in Jones County for a couple of years. He also had an address in California.
Khanh Van Duong, 56, told his wife and daughter to escape, saving their lives, before he lost his own life while attempting to save the family's pets. >> https://t.co/LOB394sNZJ— WDAM 7 (@wdam) January 16, 2023
The cause of the fire is currently being looked into by the State Fire Marshal with assistance from the JCSD and the Jones County Coroner’s Office. Currently, foul play is not suspected. "The home was heavily involved in fire upon arrival of deputies and firefighters," JCSD Sergeant J.D. Carter, who is the Jones County Fire Investigator, said in the statement. "The investigation into the cause of the fire is underway," Carter continued. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family during this tragic loss of their loved one."
A firefighter sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Volunteers from Calhoun, Pleasant Ridge, Soso, Hebron, Powers, South Jones, and Southwest Jones helped to put out the fire, along with the JCSD, Deputy Coroner Ernest Hollingsworth, EMServ Ambulance, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, the whole house was on fire. Family members who escaped told the rescue crew that Duong was still inside. Unfortunately, the fire and smoke were too strong for responders to get in, so rescue efforts had to cease. By the end, the home completely destroyed by the flames. The fire may have started in the home's additional space that served as a storage area.
The firefighter who was hurt and treated for minor injuries at the scene and declined transport to a local hospital. Duong’s wife and daughter weren’t hurt, according to Bradenton Herald.
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