Apr 30, 2013 11:22 PM by Steven Albritton

Faulty Fire Places To Blame For Three Lafayette House Fires

A fire place designed to contain a simple fire, was the cause of one getting out of control one week ago in Lafayette.

"There was a fire place that was installed on the patio of the home. We know that's where the fire originated. It seems like the wood was installed too close to the fireplace and the chimney," Alton Trahan of the Lafayette Fire Department said.

Along with the wood being too close, this is the same cause of two other house fires in Lafayette Parish.

"Each fireplace has its own specs, where it needs to be an inch or two inches or further away from the fireplace box itself, so it doesn't somehow or another heat up and slowly smolders and ignites when someone is sleeping, or away from their house the next morning," Trahan said.

All three of the homes were built by different contractors and all three homes were approved by Planning and Zoning of Lafayette Consolidated Government. Planning and Zoning does two approval checks of a home being built. One after the frame of the house goes up, and the other when it's complete. It's between those checks where unapproved changes can be made by contractors and personal home builders. Planning and Zoning can't see what was done because by the end dry wall, brick and other building materials have covered up the skeleton of the house.

"Now we're discussing how we can prevent this from happening again. The way to do it is through education because we can't be there everyday while the house is going up," Larry Manual of LCG said.

If anyone is planning or currently building a home, they can contact Planning & Zoning of LCG for an inspection of their home during different stages.



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