Jackson County, Mississippi Officials Updated on Burned Firefighters

PASCAGOULA, MS -- Volunteer firefighter Lyle Crandall Jr. had surgery this week at Singing River Hospital to determine whether he will need skin grafts, county Fire Coordinator Ray Watson told Jackson County supervisors Tuesday.

Watson updated county leaders on the three volunteers burned in a house fire Dec. 29 who are still hospitalized.

Matthew Krohn, the most severely burned, remains in intensive care at the University of South Alabama burn center in Mobile, Watson said. Aaron Keebler is recovering in a room across the hall from Crandall at Singing River.

"Matt was being evaluated Monday, and we're awaiting the results," Watson said. "He is doing fine and is in good spirits."

Krohn was burned over 10 percent to 20 percent of his body, while Crandall and Keebler were burned on their forearms, ears, neck and shoulders. Crandall also was burned on his sides and back.

The three were injured when they were trapped by a sudden and rapid increase in the intensity of the fire that burned a home on Old Biloxi Road in the Latimer community.

Watson told county leaders the men are covered by workers' compensation and county insurance, including disability for work missed.

"So insurance-wise they are pretty much taken care of," Watson told the board.

He also said the fire district, which oversees volunteer fire departments in the county, is reviewing the fire, including checking to see if all the firefighters' equipment functioned properly.

"We're looking at what went right and what went wrong," Watson told the board.

The State Fire Marshal's office last week tentatively determined the fire was accidental.

Supervisor Frank Leach requested travel expenses to cover a trip to Mobile to see Krohn. Watson warned him that Krohn is in intensive care primarily to make sure his wounds remain free of infection. Visitors are required to wear a gown, gloves and a mask.