Oct 10, 2012 6:29 PM by Erin Steuber

Family mourns loss of grandmother, mother who died in overnight fire

"Mom I know you're looking down at us," said Carl McZeal. "I want to tell you one more, last time, I love you."

Smoking while using an oxygen tank is the likely cause of a fatal fire this morning in Lafayette. At 2 the morning of October 10, firefighters arrived at 99 Ambroise St., they noticed only light smoke and minimal damage to the residence. Firefighters say 77-year-old Geneive McZeal died in the fire. Her son, Carl McZeal, says his mother was loved by everyone who knew her, and she always made sure family came first.

"On behalf of me and the family, and I know they feel the same way that I do, that they miss her, they miss mom already," said Carl. "We're just sorry to see her go."

Investigators say the fire likely began while Geneive, who used an oxygen tank, was lighting a cigarette or smoking.

"Oxygen, particularly coming out of a bottle or machine like this was, is very dangerous and anytime it can easily ignite from a flame," said Alton Trahan with the Lafayette Police Department. "So if you are using oxygen for whatever reason, medical reason you may have, you should not smoke with it, you should definitely not be next to someone else who smokes because it can easily ignite from them as well."

When firefighters arrived they say there was minimal damage to the home, only a light haze of smoke, but noticed burn marks on the inside of the tubing that fed back to Geneive's oxygen machine.

"You know we feel for the family, our condolences go out to the family," said Trahan. "It's just on of those scenes that you really don't want to respond to, but unfortunately it happened."
Geneive lived in the home with her husband who was not hurt.

"Grandkids love her so much and I love you, I love you mom," said Carl.



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