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Family fight apparently sparked fatal house fire

8 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, January 23 2017 Jan 23, 2017 January 23, 2017 8:32 PM January 23, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ / Associated Press
(Photo: Google Maps)

COVINGTON - The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office says a family fight apparently prompted a 28-year-old man to splash gasoline around the house and start the fire that killed him and hospitalized his twin brother and their father.

Deputy Chief Brant Thompson says the man's father is hospitalized with burns over 85 percent of his body, and the brother apparently was burned pulling his father out of the house.

He says 55-year-old Jamie Kellum is in grave condition but 28-year-old Michael Kellum is expected to recover.

Thompson says the dead man is tentatively identified as 28-year-old James Brandon Kellum of Goodbee.

He says the family had gone out drinking and got into an argument. He says Michael Kellum told investigators that the fire started after he broke up a physical fight between his father and brother.

Original story: 

COVINGTON - St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office deputies and firefighters responded to a fatal house fire at 72347 Forest Drive early Sunday morning. 

Deputies found three people outside of the home, two of whom had suffered severe burns. They told deputies that 28-year-old Brandon Kellum was still trapped inside the house, but the fire was too extreme for responders to enter safely. 

After the fire was extinguished, Kellum's body was discovered inside of the home. An autopsy ruled the cause of death to be asphyxia by smoke inhalation and thermal burns.

Additional tests are being conducted to confirm the identity of the body due to the extreme disfigurement caused by the fire. The manner of death is still unclassified at this time.

The two burn victims found outside the home were transported to a burn center in Baton Rouge for treatment.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, the A.T.F., and the Louisiana Fire Marshal are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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