NATCHITOCHES PARISH- State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating the circumstances surrounding a house fire in Natchitoches that claimed the life of a female resident and injured two other occupants.
Around 3:45 a.m. on February 1, the Natchitoches Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire located in the 1500 block of Berry Avenue. Firefighters learned there had been 11 occupants in the home at the time of the fire. At the time of arrival, one occupant was still unaccounted while two others, a 34-year-old male and a 16-year-old boy, had suffered burn injuries. The teenager was treated on scene while the older male was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
Firefighters later located the body of a woman in a bedroom.
While official identification and cause of death are pending an autopsy, the victim is believed to be a 37-year-old resident of the home.
After an assessment of the scene, including witness statements, deputies determined the fire began in a bedroom and was caused by a candle that fell over on a bed when the individual who lit the candle fell asleep.
Deputies learned that the individual woke up to find the bed on fire and made several attempts to put the fire out, and sought help from other occupants to do so, before escaping. It was learned that the victim had gotten separated from a sibling during their escape, and that once discovered, the victim’s father re-entered the home in an attempt to save her, but was driven back out by the smoke.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind Louisiana residents never to leave candles unattended and to ensure that any candles in use are kept at least five feet away from combustible materials.