Victims in fatal St. Martinville fire identified

Posted at 12:53 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 18:48:32-05

State Fire Marshal deputies continue investigating a house fire in St. Martinville that left a mother and her son dead.

Just before 6:30 a.m. on December 7, the Catahoula Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire located in the 1000 block of A Sam Road. Firefighters later located the bodies of Mazel Sam, 89, and her son Gregory Sam, 58.

One was located in the living room while the other was located in a bedroom.

We spoke with a family member who said one of their relatives tried to enter the house to save them, but the flames and smoke were too heavy. "My brother said he couldn't,"Lawrence Joseph said. "When he did that and told me he couldn't save them, all I could do is hang my head. He tried to save them. He couldn't."

Relatives of the Sams live just a few feet away from their home. They say it's difficult seeing what remains of the home knowing it's where their loved ones died. "We all family right here and we all love one another,"another one of their relatives, Lawrence Sam said. "We share with one another."

Mazel and Gregory are being remembered as loving people who went out their way to help others. "I am handicap,"Lawrence Sam said. He (Gregory) would come by everyday and stand with me as a cousin. Loving person and always tried to help."

Joseph added, "Never going to be the same back here. I miss them. last night was a dark night. For that tragic loss to happen, just upset me so much. It upsets me to see our people gone like that."

Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire originated in one of the home’s bedrooms.

While the official cause of this fire remains undetermined at this time, deputies cannot rule out the possibility of unsafe heating practices involving a space heater as a possible contributing factor