Louisiana Woman Dies in Housefire, Dangerous Smoking Habits Likely to Have Been a Factor

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Published September 07, 2022

Louisiana Woman Dies in Housefire, Dangerous Smoking Habits Likely to Have Been a Factor

Louisiana – The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office (LASFM) revealed on September 6, 2022, that they had established that dangerous smoking behaviors likely contributed to a deadly house fire in St. Martinville over the weekend.

On Sunday, September 4, around 12:15 p.m., the Catahoula Volunteer Fire Department responded to a complaint of a house fire in the 4400 block of Catahoula Highway in St. Martinville, Louisiana. Unfortunately, firemen discovered the body of a female victim near the home’s front entrance.
The official identity and cause of death are still pending with the St. Martin Parish Coroner’s Office, but the victim is thought to be a 34-year-old resident of the home.
LASFM deputies established the fire started in the entryway area of the living room where the victim was located and where she was also known to smoke cigarettes after assessing the scene and gathering witness accounts.

Deputies discovered that the victim was wheelchair-bound and used an oxygen tank. While the actual cause is yet unknown, deputies have not ruled out the potential of dangerous smoking behaviors being a major contributing factor to the fire.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages people not to smoke, and not to allow others to smoke, in areas where medical oxygen is used. Because oxygen is a fuel to fire, medical oxygen can cause materials to ignite more easily and fires to burn more quickly.

In addition, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office also shared these precautions:

  • Candles, matches, wood stoves and even sparking toys can be ignition sources and should not be used in a home where medical oxygen is utilized.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from a heat source, open flames, or electrical devices.
  • Body oil, hand lotion, and items containing oil and grease can easily ignite. Keep oil and grease away where oxygen is in use.
  • Never use aerosol sprays containing combustible materials near the oxygen.