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Jan 9, 2010 5:12 PM by Jthibodeaux

Three Fires in the State Kill Three People

Baton Rouge, January 9, 2010. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning announced that three overnight fires in Shreveport, Westwego and Denham Springs each claimed the lives of three people. "It was a very tragic night for our State as our Firefighters responded to many fires, three of which proved deadly, we are saddened and pay our respects and sorrow to the families and friends that lost loved ones." "We have committed all of our investigative staff to work with our local partners to determine why these fires occurred and how we can prevent these tragedies from repeating". "Last night local Firefighters performed professionally and did their best to save these lives", the Fire Marshal said. The fires are as followed:

Shreveport, January 8, 2010. The Caddo Fire District #2 responded at 21:15hrs to 4120 Rainer St. Shreveport LA, for a mobile home on fire. Upon their arrival they found the trailer fully involved in flames. They located Joseph Pipes, dob. 2-9-60 in the trailer and despite expert rescue attempts he died in this fire. This trailer had no utilities connected and Mr. Pipes was using a propane cooking burner for heat. This fire was suspected to be caused as a result of this outdoor cooking appliance being used indoors and igniting available combustible materials in the trailer. This fire was ruled accidental. The State Fire Marshal's Office is working with the Caddo Fire Dist. #2, the Caddo Parish Sheriff and the Coroner to conclude this investigation.

Westwego, January 8, 2010. The Nine Mile Pont Volunteer Fire Dept. responded to a fire in a vacant residential home located at 844 Hooter Rd. at 20:47hrs. The temperature was 27 degrees at the time of the fire and upon the fire department arriving they found the structure to be well involved in fire. An unidentified male was found in the structure and perished in this fire, it is suspected he was homeless and had lit a fire within the building to keep warm. At this time we do not suspect criminal intent, we are working with the Nine Mile Point VFD, East Bank Consolidated Fire Dept., the Coroner and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff to complete this investigation.

Denham Springs, January 9, 2010. The City of Denham Springs Fire Department received a report of a residence on fire at 06:26hrs. at 329 Benton St. in Denham Springs. The first fire engine arrived three minutes later and reported visible flames and that 40% of the building was burning. The residence was a 2 story home with approx. 5000 sq. ft. of living area. Three people were home at the time of the fire and two escaped. Mr. Edward Young Easterly Jr. was sleeping on the second floor of the home and it is believed that he never awoke to the smoke and later fire, he was pronounced dead on the fire scene. Mr. Easterly was visiting as he was a longtime friend and business partner; he was a resident of Pensacola Beach, Florida. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office, Denham Springs Fire Dept., the Denham Springs Police Department and the Coroner are jointly working to determine why this fire and subsequent death occurred. The fire caused an estimated $500,000.00 in damage. Some 50 Firefighters battled this difficult blaze including mutual aid received from Fire District #5. At this time the fire in under investigation.

The Fire Marshal reminds all Louisiana citizens that tonight, we will experience again, extremely low temperatures and to assure that your home has a working smoke detector. "If your home does not have a working smoke detector, your family has less than a 40% chance of waking up in a fire", Marshal Browning said. He further stated, "Only use approved heating devices, Space Heaters should be placed where a 3 foot clearance can be maintained, We need to take the proper steps to prevent any more deaths and fires, these tragedies can be prevented".

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