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State Fire Marshall stresses generator safety after Delta death

Posted at 7:18 AM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 08:35:19-04

Thousands across Louisiana continue to wait for power to be restored by using generators.

And on Saturday night, an 86-year-old man died after his generator caught fire.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said the generator caught fire after the man refueled it.

"He was able to be out of there when the fire occurred, but he went back in the extinguish the fire," he said. "And while extinguishing the fire, we believe he succumbed to his injuries."

Browning says waiting 15 minutes for the generator to cool down before refueling it will prevent an explosion.

"Because you can spill vapors, you can have vapors in that building, that will ignite a fire."

Generators were the cause of nine deaths after Hurricane Laura.

Read more: LDH confirms two Delta-related deaths

"We had some carbon monoxide deaths, and it certainly was the worse after Laura, that I can remember as long as I've been doing this job in Louisiana. It just got out of hand quickly," he said.

Browning warns generators are not the only cause of death after a major storm. A 70-year-old New Iberia woman died from an explosion that may have been caused by a gas leak.

"Simple things. A lot of newer homes have those gas lanterns at their front door. Those flames can be blown out by the storm, and you don't know it, so you actually have a gas leak, and under the right circumstances, that can cause a small explosion"

Browning also says take generator safety tips seriously and check on your neighbors.

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