Louisiana Man Killed in Afternoon House Fire, Officials Suspect Burn Piles a Possible Cause

By Orion Blake
Published August 19, 2023

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Washington Parish, Louisiana – A Louisiana man was killed in an afternoon house fire, and officials suspect burn piles as a possible cause.

Deputies from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal (SFM) are still investigating a residential and bush fire in Franklinton, which led to the death of a disabled man.

The Franklinton Fire Department was alerted of a house fire on H.C. Rushing Road, near the 21000 block of John D Wood Road, at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 17. Upon reaching the scene, firefighters discovered a large house ablaze, with several acres of adjoining land also on fire. Regrettably, amidst the rubble of the house, firefighters discovered a man’s body.

Though formal identification is yet to be confirmed, it’s speculated that the victim is possibly the 72-year-old property owner who had issues with mobility.

While the investigation is ongoing, the current assessment based on the scene and witness statements suggests that the fire initially started outside the house before spreading to it. Traces of multiple burn piles, some in close proximity to the house, were found on the property. However, deputies are still uncertain about the activity of these burn piles at the time the house fire was first detected.

The SFM has issued a press statement reminding the residents of Louisiana that a statewide prohibition on all private burning remains in place due to severe dry and hot conditions. The ban, which has been in place since 5:00 p.m. on August 7, 2023, will continue until it is officially lifted.

Failure to comply with this order could lead to criminal and/or civil penalties.