The news is terrible. Five fire deaths in five days in Louisiana. There has been a fire death in Louisiana each day from Friday, February 5 through Tuesday, February 15. State Fire Marshall Butch Browning says none of the homes involved in these situations had working smoke alarms.

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The first fatal fire happened in Bossier City on Friday when a woman went back into her burning home to try to rescue her pets. The 48-year-old woman perished in the fire in the 1700 block of Alison Avenue. Her 15-year-old grandson had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after he went back into the home to try to save his grandmother.

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The second fire happened early Saturday morning in Ferriday when firefighters say a 61-year-old man died in his home. Investigators have not ruled out a space heater being unattended as the cause of the fire.

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The third fire happened Sunday. A 65-year-old woman died in a house fire in New Orleans. The investigation continues into this fire as well.

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The fourth fire happened in Kenner, and the 81-year-old man was saved from a garage fire, but after being taken to the hospital, he died from his injuries.

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On Tuesday, February 15, the fifth fatal fire happened in Leesville. A fire broke out that morning and a woman tried to save her 65-year-old husband. He perished, and she was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The State Fire Marshal's Office has several tips for people in the hopes of preventing fire deaths:

  • Always smoke outside of your home.
  • Never smoke when you are tired or impaired.
  • Have working smoke alarms, as many as possible, in your home.
  • Only use space heaters if they are at least three to five feet about from anything flammable.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended.
  • Never leave an open flame or candles unattended.
  • Never use your oven or your stove to heat your home.
  • Don't overfill wood-burning stoves and/or fireplaces.
  • Always plug heating appliances straight into the wall outlets. Don't plug heating appliances into extension cords or power strips.

While one of the homes had hard-wired smoke alarms, the power to the breaker was not in working order.

If you need information about how to get a smoke alarm installed free, check out the State Fire Marshal's Office's Operation Save-A-Life, visit lasfm.org.

Browning adds that once you have been able to escape a fire situation, never go back into the dwelling.

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