State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating the circumstances surrounding a house fire in Lacombe that claimed the life of a male resident.
Around 3:15 a.m. on Tuesday, January 11, St. Tammany Fire District #3 responded to a report of a residential fire located in the 27000 block of Washington Street in Lacombe. Firefighters arrived on scene to locate one occupant safely evacuated outside of the home and learned there was a second occupant who had originally escaped but re-entered the home in an attempt to save pet dogs and never came back out. That victim was located and transported to a local hospital for treatment but unfortunately died the following day. The status of the dogs is unknown at this time.
While official identification and cause of death are pending with the Coroner’s Office, the victim is believed to be a 60-year-old resident of the home.
Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire began in the home’s living room. While the official cause of this fire remains undetermined at this time, SFM investigators are unable to rule out the possibility that it is home heating-related.
Due to the extent of the damage, deputies were unable to determine whether the home had working smoke alarms. However, even with the presence of working smoke alarms to alert occupants to a fire danger, the SFM wants to stress the importance of getting out of a burning structure as fast as possible, then staying out.
The SFM is also asking Louisianans to prioritize safe home heating practices during these cold temperatures across our state. Please plug space heaters directly into wall outlets as opposed to extension cords or power strips and keep the devices 3-5 feet away from combustible objects like blankets, bedding and curtains. Never leave a space heater, or open flame like a candle, unattended. In addition, do not use stoves or ovens as heat sources and do not leave fireplaces and oil-burning or wood-burning ovens unattended or overloaded with too much wood.
Lastly, smoke alarms are a proven tool to alert residents to a fire danger in order to escape safely. If you need assistance obtaining smoke alarms for your home, Operations Save-A-Life can help. The program partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, visit our website at lasfm.org.