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Man who went into burning house for his dog first fatality of the year

State Fire Marshal
Posted at 11:39 AM, Jan 04, 2022

A West Monroe man who escaped his burning home - but went back to save his dog - is the first fire-related fatality for Louisiana this year, SFM officials say.

The 69-year-old man died Sunday night, a spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal says.

SFM deputies are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Firefighters were called at about 11:15 p.m. to a fire in the 100 block of La. 3033. They learned that the man who lived there had escaped, but went back inside the burning house to try to save his dog. Neither he nor the dog survived.

The man was found in the living room, and the dog was found in a bedroom.

Following an assessment of the scene, deputies have determined the fire originated on the exterior of the home in the area of the carport. While the official cause of this fire remains undetermined at this time, SFM investigators are unable to rule out the possibility of electrical malfunction.

Deputies were unable to locate working smoke alarms in the home.

However, even with the presence of working smoke alarms to alert occupants to a fire danger, the SFM wants to stress the importance of getting out of a burning structure as fast as possible, then staying out.

“The goal is first to do whatever you can to prevent fire,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “But if you experience fire, the priority is getting out safely. Possessions can be purchased again. Life cannot.”

The SFM would like to stress the importance of having working smoke alarms. If you need assistance obtaining smoke alarms for your home, Operations Save-A-Life can help. The program partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, visit the website at lasfm.org.