Louisiana State Fire Marshal Investigates Deadly Oakdale Fire: Resident and Friend Killed

By Liora Hawthorne
Published October 26, 2023

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Oakdale, Louisiana – The investigation into a tragic house fire in Oakdale, Louisiana is still ongoing, led by the State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies. This devastating incident resulted in the loss of two lives – a disabled woman and her friend. The fire broke out on Tuesday, October 24, at around 8:45 p.m. The Oakdale Fire Department swiftly responded to the emergency call regarding a house fire in the 200 block of Canal Street.

Upon arrival, firefighters noticed a man inside the house and successfully got him out of the structure. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they were unable to revive him. Additionally, a second victim was discovered in a bathroom by the firefighters.

The official identification and cause of death are currently pending with the parish Coroner’s Office. However, it is believed that the victims are a 35-year-old disabled woman who was renting the house, and a 61-year-old male friend who was visiting at the time of the fire.

After thoroughly assessing the scene, SFM deputies determined that the fire originated in the dining room. Although the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, potential contributing factors being considered include unsafe smoking practices, unattended candles, and/or an electrical malfunction. These possibilities have not been ruled out.

SFM indicated that it is important to note that numerous fire hazards can lead to tragedy within our homes. However, the most common causes of fatal home fires can be prevented by taking certain precautions. Ensuring that smoking materials are properly discarded, never leaving open flames such as candles unattended, and connecting appliances to appropriate power sources are all measures that can be taken to avoid overloading and overheating those power sources.

SFM also reported that functioning smoke alarms were not found in the home. The SFM emphasizes to all residents of Louisiana that smoke alarms have proven to be life-saving devices during fire emergencies. If you require assistance in obtaining smoke alarms for your home, Operation Save-A-Life is available to help. To learn more about this program or to register for a free smoke alarm, please visit our website at lasfm.org or contact your local fire department to request a free smoke alarm installation.