Unsafe Smoking Behaviors Suspected as Cause in Fire that Claimed the Life of Louisiana Woman

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Published February 14, 2023

Unsafe Smoking Behaviors Suspected as Cause in Fire that Claimed the Life of Louisiana Woman

Lafourche Parish, Louisiana – The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office (LASFM) announced on February 13, 2023, that deputies continue to investigate a house fire in Thibodaux, Louisiana that resulted in the death of a female occupant.

On Saturday, February 11, just before 5:00 p.m., the Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire in the 100 block of N 11th Street. A female occupant’s body was tragically discovered in a bed.

On behalf of the Lafourche Parish Coroner’s Office, the LASFM released the identity of the victim as 65-year-old Patricia Cooper Kennedy.

Deputies have determined that the victim’s room was the origin of the fire after evaluating the site and collecting witness accounts. At this point, the actual cause of the fire is still unknown, and according to LASFM, unsafe smoking behaviors cannot be ruled out as a possible influence.

While the cause of this incident is currently under investigation, the LASFM would like to remind Louisianans of the significance of smoking-related fire safety awareness and prevention:

  • Always smoke outdoors
  • Ensure smoking materials are fully extinguished and discarded in appropriate containers
  • Keep smoking materials, especially spark-producing objects like lighters, out of the reach of children

In addition, deputies have confirmed that the residence lacked operational smoke alarms. In a fire emergency, smoke alarms have been demonstrated to make the difference between life and death. Operation Save-A-Life of the LASFM collaborates with local fire departments to install free smoke alarms in the most vulnerable households. Visit lasfm.org to learn more about the program and register for a smoke alarm. You may also contact your local fire department to request the installation of a smoke alarm.