BATON ROUGE – Fire investigators are working to figure out what sparked a house fire, overnight, that killed one person and sent two others to the hospital.
Firefighters were called to a home in the 300 block of East Washington Street just after 1 a.m. Thursday morning. A spokesperson for the fire department said that when the first firetruck arrived fire was coming from the rear of the home.
The body of one victim was found in a bedroom inside the home. Two people were able to escape the flames and were taken to a Baton Rouge hospital with second degree burns.
The family is good friends with Rev. Donald Sterling, the pastor of Greater St. John Baptist Church, right next door to the house that went up in flames. Three siblings lived there, two sisters and a brother.
"Good Christian people," he said.
Sterling says he left bible study last night around 8:30 p.m. and noticed everything was fine next door.
The State Fire Marshal's Office says the fire started in room where the deceased was found.
"Moses had been bed-ridden for awhile," said Sterling.
He says the man's two sisters tried to help him escape but couldn't.
"We know that he's in a better place. He's not suffering anymore," he said. "He's gone home to be with the lord."
While this investigation continues, State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says there are no working smoke alarms inside the house. Those who do not have working smoke alarms in their home are encouraged to call their fire department about Operation Save-A-Life. Through the program, people can schedule the installation of a smoke alarm by contacting their local fire department or submitting a request here.
The Red Cross has been contacted to help the displaced family.
Foul play is not suspected as part of the investigation.