Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office: Two Die in Separate House Fires Over Weekend

By Liora Hawthorne
Published October 03, 2023

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Deputies from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s office are still carrying out investigations into two separate house fires that occurred over the weekend. These fires tragically led to the deaths of a woman from Cutoff, Louisiana and a man from Franklinton, Louisiana.

The Lafourche Parish Fire District initially responded to a reported house fire on the 100 block of East 53rd Street in Cut Off, Louisiana. This incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Friday, September 29.

While firefighters were busy extinguishing the fire, the homeowner arrived back from the store and informed them that his bedridden wife was still in the house. Despite his attempts to go in and save his wife, he was restrained. Regrettably, firefighters later discovered the body of a physically impaired woman lying on a hospital bed in the living room of the house.

Although the formal identification and cause of death are still under review by the Coroner’s Office, it is suspected that the deceased is a 68-year-old inhabitant of the house.

After evaluating the site, officers confirmed that the fire originated in the house’s living room, where the victim was discovered. Currently, the root cause of the fire is still unclear. Nonetheless, the investigation is ongoing, taking into account potential factors related to electrical issues and/or smoking habits.

In the second fire, early dawn on Saturday, September 30, saw the Washington Parish Fire District 4 being summoned to Junior Rowell Road in the 31000 block of Franklinton, Louisiana following a call of a mobile home fire. The flames had reportedly extended to two campers located in the vicinity.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered several inhabitants safely outside who reported that one individual was still within one of the structures. Tragically, the firefighters later discovered the body of a man situated outside, between two of the homes.

Though the Coroner’s Office is yet to confirm the identity and cause of death, it is suspected that the victim is the 83-year-old owner of the original mobile home that was set ablaze.

After evaluating the situation, officers concluded that the fire originated from the southwest corner of the mobile home. Although the exact reason for the fire is still uncertain, ongoing investigations are exploring potential electrical or mechanical causes. This is based on traces at the site of the fire, which included a number of appliances.

Finally, deputies could not find functional smoke alarms in either of the homes. The SFM wishes to emphasize to all Louisiana inhabitants, that smoke alarms can be a crucial factor in deciding survival during a fire emergency, regardless of the home type. If you require help getting smoke alarms for your house, Operation Save-A-Life is there to assist. To gather more information about Operation Save-A-Life, or to apply for a free smoke alarm, go to our website lasfm.org, or reach out to your local fire department for a free smoke alarm setup.