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Cause of Lafayette storage facility fire still under investigation

Firefighters say 19 units were directly impacted.
FIRE STORAGE FOLLOW UP
Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 23:50:49-05

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Fire Department are still trying to piece together what caused the fire that impacted at least 19 units at the Life Storage facility.

LPD responded to the scene on the 2800 block of the NE Evangeline Thruway at around 5:23 p.m. on Thursday.

Upon arrival, LFD say they had to ask for backup by ringing in a second alarm. A total of 53 firefighters came to the scene, and battled the flames for about 30 minutes before they got the blaze under control.

They remained on the scene for about four hours.

“We were out there earlier this morning following up on our investigation, we think we have isolated it to one or two units," said Alton Trahan, LFD spokesperson. "Now, we are waiting to interview those who were renting those units to see what contents they had inside and the last time they were in the unit to get a sense of what possibly happened.”

Trahan says they found some items in the burnt units that could have added to the intensity of the flames.

"In several of them, (were) spray paint cans, some flammable items, (and) plastics," said Trahan. "So, there’s a variety of things that were stored in the units, so obviously you’re going to have a tremendous smell come from it."

While the investigation continues, LFD says it has some important tips on how to prevent this from happening in the future.

"Every time you’re renting, even your home, you want to make sure there’s no electrical components," said Trahan. "If you’re storing things inside these units, properly store them so nothing can fall over and something that can mix with chemicals that are flammable. Those types of precautions you want to put in place."

Life Storage provided the following statement to KATC:

Our customer’s satisfaction and the safety of their storage unit are our highest priority. We are working closely with investigators to determine the cause of the fire. In the meantime, we began notifying customers first thing Friday morning and are diligently working with them to address their concerns.

Although 19 units were impacted directly, the department says it might take some time before the community knows the full damage. This is because of smoke and residual heat from the flames.

Trahan says that fabric is susceptible to smoke damage, but appliances and furniture might survive the heavy smoke.

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