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Man escapes fire, explosions at his home

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Posted: Jan 18, 2013 10:45 AM
Updated: Jan 18, 2013 5:36 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: fire, elderly, man, oxygen, bottle, explosion, grease, red cross, st. amant

ST. AMANT - Firefighters said an elderly man awoken by a fire blowing up bottles of oxygen managed to crawl to safety early this morning.

Members of the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department were called to the home on Brignac Road around 4 a.m. Assistant Chief Derek LeBlanc said the fire destroyed the home.

LeBlanc said the 84-year-old homeowner got up early to cook jambalaya, and went to sleep with a pot of grease warming on the stove. The grease caught fire and spread quickly, and the man woke up when the fire blew oxygen bottles he had stored in the house.

LeBlanc said the man was able to crawl out of the house and get to a neighor's, where he called 911. He was treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation.

"This man that had lung problems, that was previously on oxygen, was able to revert to his childhood lessons and learnings of stop, drop and roll, was able to crawl out and find his way out of his house, is just tremendous," said LeBlanc.

"As far as I know, he's ok," said Melvin Delatte, the man's brother-in-law. "But it was a terrible loss. He lost his wife a while back and it's hard to see something like this."

Firefighters contacted the Red Cross to help the homeowner in the wake of the fire.

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