by Hunter Dawkins

In the dawn hours, the commonly known “Monroe House” mansion owned by the Ramsey family on 845 Scenic Drive caught fire and the emergency units of city and county were called.

“The family discovered the fire around 4am, called 911 and the Pass Christian Fire Department came out,” said Harrison County Fire & Rescue Chief Pat Sullivan.  “The Pass Fire Department found a rapid smoke and fire showing and made sure everyone was out of the house before calling in mutual aid from Harrison County, Long Beach, Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, CRTC and the Department of Marine Resources.”

No injuries were reported at this time and everyone was reported being out of the house.  A few residents of Scenic Drive think the reason for the fire was due to a strike of lightning about the early morning hours.

According to Pass Christian City Attorney Malcolm Jones, multiple generations of the Ramsey family has owned the property for close to 30 years.  This mansion sits atop a 25-foot bluff and 400 feet of beachfront overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, on the Scenic Drive of the historic district of Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Normally identified as the “Monroe House,” according to the Pass Christian Historical Society, the main house was built in 1964 by J. Edgar Monroe, a prominent New Orleans businessman and philanthropist, and his wife Louise S. Monroe, who established the J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library and the Music and Communications Complexes at Loyola University in New Orleans.

In 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ramsey purchased the home from J. Edgar Monroe and soon added an east and west wing to accommodate their family, all while maintaining the details to compliment the architecture of the original main house. The wings form a three-sided courtyard. Central to the New Orleans French-inspired courtyard is a large, stately fountain.

An investigation by Pass Christian and Harrison County authorities will be ongoing to determine the cause.