WASHINGTON, La. (KPEL News) - A house fire in St. Landry Parish earlier this week resulted in a death of an elderly man, according to the state fire marshall's office.

On Wednesday morning, St. Landry Fire District #3 was called to a house fire in Washington, Louisiana. The state fire marshall investigated the cause of the fire and later determined that the fire began in the living room/kitchen area of the home.

After putting out the fire, firefighters discovered a male victim believed to be the 64-year-old disabled resident of the home. He was located in the opposite end of the home from where the fire started.

"The home being almost 100 years old, and the quality of the home due to that age, has made this investigation difficult when it comes to determining an official cause of this fire," the fire marshall's office said in a release. "However, deputies have been unable to rule out the possibility of an electrical malfunction as a contributing factor."

Fire Truck
Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal/Facebook

Protecting Lives and Homes

So far in 2023, according to the state fire marshall, half of the fatal fires deputies have investigated have involved disabled victims and all of the fatal fires have been in structures without working smoke alarms. Their office is asking Louisianans who know of relatives, loved ones, or even neighbors who are challenged with a disability to reach out to those individuals to offer assistance in developing an escape plan that’s accommodating to that person’s needs.

That plan, they said, should include not only knowing two ways out of every room but also ensuring those ways out are accessible and operational.

"Local fire departments can also assist with assessing a home for potential fire hazards and coming up with a specialized escape plan," the fire marshall's office said. "A key of that fire emergency preparation is having working smoke alarms which are proven to be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency."

Fire & Smoke Detector

The fire marshall's Operation Save-A-Life program partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free for families that need them most. To learn more about the program and register for a smoke alarm, visit lasfm.org.

You can also contact your local fire department to request a smoke alarm installation.

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