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A Lafayette family's home is destroyed for the second time

Posted at 10:12 AM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 11:12:58-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — An electrical fire caused a family to lose their home 18 years ago during Hurricane Katrina. Again, they are left with nothing and this time their pets have also been lost.

On Mother's Day, a fire broke out at the home of Geraldine Taranto. Taranto lived there with her family and 4 dogs on 500 block of South Magnolia Street.

Rose Horseman who is the niece to Geraldine Taranto, says she is heartbroken over her family's beloved dogs that perished in the house fire.

"Everyone humanwise was out the house but it still saddens me that it happened like this and they passed away. The animals were loved and I love every one of them," said Horseman.

According to the Lafayette Fire Department, the home's water heater was to blame for the fire, but they are still unsure what caused it to ignite.

Fire investigator Alton Trahan advises homeowners to monitor their water heaters in order to prevent incidents like this.

"Make sure you don't store any combustibles nearby. You wanna give it 4 inches of space around the whole water heater and the closet should not be used for extra storage whatsoever," Trahan says. "Also if you are smelling any gas, make sure you report it to your gas company or get a licensed plumber to come and check and make sure there are no gas leaks."

Horseman says supporting her family's GoFundMe can help them move forward from this tragedy.

"It will help out with clothing, food, sheltering, hopefully, to get back on their feet and moving forward that type of thing. Lift them up, pray," Horseman says.

To donate to the family's GoFundMe, click here.