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Wheelchair User Perishes In FEMA Trailer Fire

by Dave Reynolds (subscribe)

PEARLINGTON, MS--Seven months to the day after Hurricane Katrina left him homeless, Sidney Charles Strickland died in a travel trailer provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Emergency workers found the body of the 71-year-old retired psychiatrist, who used a wheelchair, in his FEMA trailer early last Wednesday.

According to local news sources, authorities believe Strickland's roommate, Timothy White, got out of the burning trailer and used a cell phone to call for help.

As of Friday, investigators were not clear how the fire got started. Hancock County Fire Marshal Brian Adam said deputies from the state Fire Marshal's office have joined local authorities in the investigation.

An autopsy has been ordered on the body of Strickland, who reportedly was a smoker.

Strickland and White had been living in the FEMA trailer since their Pearlington home was leveled during the storm on August 29.

"People With Disabilities Among Hardest Hit By Hurricanes Katrina & Rita" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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Does anyone know if the trailer was accessible? The reporters should have asked.

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