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Man injured in truck stop fire dies at burn center

By Staff
May 23, 2004
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
A Meridian man died Saturday, eight days after he was critically injured in a May 14 fire while working at the TravelCenters of America truck plaza in Russell.
David Armstrong, 28, who was working for Cross Roofing Inc. when the fire broke out, died at the Mississippi Burn Center in Greenville. Two other roofers also were injured in the fire.
Clayton Cobler, Lauderdale County coroner, said Armstrong died at 11:32 a.m. and that he had suffered third degree burns over 52 percent of his body.
Cobler said the official cause of death will be determined after an autopsy at the Mississippi Mortuary in Pearl.
Clarence Butler, Lauderdale County fire coordinator, said it appeared the fire started from a chemical reaction in glue and other materials used by roofers who were installing a roof on a new building at the truck stop.
The fire broke out about noon.
Volunteer firefighters from the departments of Toomsuba/Alamucha, Russell, Long Creek, Clarkdale, South, Collinsville, Whynot and Causeyville responded to the fire.
Within a three-hour period that day, county volunteer firefighters also responded to a trailer fire on Wright Spur Road that claimed the life of a man; a recreational vehicle fire at the Mississippi Welcome Center; and a car fire on Causeyville Road.
The volunteer fire departments had three tanker trucks on the scene at Russell because there is no water source for fire trucks in that area.