State Fire Marshal finds common bond following three fatal blazes
BATON ROUGE - The State Fire Marshal says there's a common bond in three fatal fires that happened since Saturday; none of the homes had working smoke alarms.
The State Fire Marshal's office says they are is still investigating three blazes. All were detrmined to be accidental in nature by investigators.
The first happened Saturday around 9:00 p.m. in Batchelor. 83-year-old Irwin Charles Hopkins was found in the hallway of a scorched home during suppression efforts, according to investigators.
Investigators say a second fire in Natchitoches claimed the life of 55-year-old Theron E. Starnes. The fire broke out around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning in a travel trailer. Starnes was found inside.
Two occupants were injured in a fire involving an older-model MHU just before 1:00 Tuesday in Columbia, investigators say. A third occupant, 67-year-old Dennis Hoffman, did not escape the blaze.
The State Fire Marshal's Office stressed the importance of installing and maintaining working smoke alarms in homes. They say numberous studies have consistently shows that early fire detection increases the chance of escape.
Marshals also reminded residents of "Operation Save a Life," an organization they sponsor in conjunction with local fire departments in which low income citizens can have a smoke alarm powered by a sealed 10-year lithium battery installed in their home free of charge.
Detectives are still investigating Wednesday's fatal Baton Rouge fire, which took the life of 5-year-old Treasure Garner. They previously said the building did have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, but did not have a sprinkler system installed.