Louisiana Man Dies as Result of House Fire Suspected to Have Been Caused by Improper Use of Fireplace

By Orion Blake
Published October 23, 2023

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The investigation into a tragic house fire in Covington, Louisiana which resulted in the loss of a male resident’s life, is ongoing by the State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies. The incident occurred around 1:15 a.m. on Sunday, October 22, when St. Tammany Fire District 12 responded to a distress call regarding a house fire on Cameo Drive in Covington.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and discovered a man trapped in a closet. They successfully got him out of the home and he was transported to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, the man succumbed to his injuries.

While it is currently believed that the victim was a 62-year-old resident, the official identification and cause of death are awaiting confirmation from the parish Coroner’s Office.

Deputies assessed the scene and determined that the fire had originated around the fireplace. They discovered evidence suggesting that the fireplace had been in use with the flue still closed. As Louisiana experiences a transition into cooler temperatures, it is crucial for families to prioritize safe home heating practices. The SFM advises the following measures:

  1. Keep space heaters at a safe distance of 3-5 feet from flammable objects like blankets and curtains.
  2. Ensure that heating appliances are directly plugged into wall outlets, avoiding the use of power strips or extension cords.
  3. Never rely on stoves or ovens for heating purposes.
  4. Exercise caution when using fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, ensuring they are not overfilled and have proper ventilation.
  5. Never leave candles, open flames, or space heaters unattended.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended to have heating systems and fireplaces professionally cleaned and inspected to ensure their proper functioning.

In addition to investigating the cause of the fire, deputies also discovered smoke alarms within the house. However, it remains uncertain whether these alarms were operational at the time of the incident. The SFM emphasizes the critical importance of functioning smoke alarms in saving lives during fire emergencies. However, it is equally crucial to be prepared and know what to do when the alarm sounds. Establishing and practicing an escape plan that includes two exit routes from each room in your home is essential. If you require assistance in obtaining smoke alarms for your residence, Operation Save-A-Life is available to help. For more information about Operation Save-A-Life or to register for a free smoke alarm, please visit the SFM website at lasfm.org or contact your local fire department to request a free smoke alarm installation.