Sunrise Homes fire

Police tape cordons off the burned-out shell of the former DeSoto Sunrise Home for Girls, located off Wren Lane and Oak Grove Road in Hernando.

Robert Long|DTT

The former DeSoto County Sunrise Home for Girls was gutted by fire late Friday in a blaze that completely destroyed the three-story structure.

Hernando Fire Chief Hubert Jones said the former Girls Home, which was unoccupied at the time, was totally destroyed.

The house, built in the late 60s or early 70s, was located near the intersection of Oak Grove Road and Wren Street. The dwelling was listed for sale at the time of the fire.

"When we pulled up to the scene, the home was fully involved in flames," Jones said, adding he received the call to the scene about 2 a.m. Saturday. "The top floor and roof were completely burnt off. It was a total loss."

There were no utilities connected to the rambling structure at the time.

Arson is among the possibilities that fire investigators are probing as to to the cause and nature of the fire.

Neighbors said area youth and children often frequented the home. Graffiti was said to be scrawled on the inside of the home, which was open and unsecured.

"We don't know whether it was deliberately set or not," Jones said. "There was no one supposed to be at the house."

Jones said more than a dozen firefighters battled the blaze in the early morning hours Saturday.

The fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal and investigators.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

(4) comments

Debra

Yes and the Sowells built that house for themselves before it became the girlshome. I imagine its a little upsetting for them.

rosskstie8

Heartbreaking to say the least! I lived there for 3-4 years. Best and hardest times of my life! Its like we are in a state of mourning. This home, the people that founded the home(Vicki and Dennis Moore), the girls, houseparents and people of the community will never be forgotten for their outpouring love and support. One of my favorite memories was being picked up on Sunday by Mrs. Beverly to attend the Methodist Church in Hernando.

SusanC

My husband & I were houseparents at that home for 3 years. The house was incredible. Great memories were made in that home.

Katri

It breaks my heart to hear the state of disrepair the house had fallen into. My life was rebuilt in that house with the help of Dennis, Vicki, and countless others. The loss is a harsh one.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.