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SFM says fatal house fire in Starks likely accidental

Unattended candles not ruled out
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Posted at 12:32 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 13:32:06-04

Deputies say that Sunday's fatal house fire in Starks was likely accidental, although a cause remains undetermined.

The State Fire Marshal's Office says that firefighters with the Calcasieu Parish Ward 6 Fire Department responded to the fire around 7:00 am in the 600 block of Hwy 109 South.

The body of a 49-year-old man and the remains of a dog were found in the home's den area.

Investigators say they learned through witnesses that the man was staying at the home to watch over it for the homeowners. The man was reportedly using candles for light due to the power outages caused by Hurricane Laura.

The Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy to determine identification and official cause of death.

The SFM says an official cause of the fire remains undetermined, but unattended candles cannot be ruled out.

State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning reminds all Louisiana residents to always keep candles within eyesight and to extinguish them when leaving or going to sleep in the room where they are located.

In addition, the SFM says candles should be kept 3-5 feet away from combustibles and placed on a sturdy surface that is well-ventilated.

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