Smoker on oxygen, Louisiana's 3rd house fire death in 3 days
CONVERSE, LA. (AP) — A disabled man who was smoking while using an oxygen machine was the third Louisiana resident to die in a house fire in as many days, the state fire marshal's office said in a news release Tuesday.
The statement said investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire that killed the 60-year-old man, who could not leave his bed, on Thursday in Converse.
“Preliminary autopsy results and evidence gathered from the scene indicate the fire originated with the oxygen machine near the victim, then fire quickly spread throughout the structure. The victim’s wife attempted to rescue him, but was driven away by flames and smoke,” the statement said.
A day earlier, a man in his 60s died in a fire in Oak Grove, and on Aug. 4 Eleanor Gill, 87, died in Campti. Investigators have not determined what caused those fires. They did not find smoke alarms in Gill's home, where the fire broke out in her bedroom, the fire marshal's office said.
Dr. Thomas St. Clair Williams, coroner for West Carroll Parish, said he could not yet release the Oak Grove victim's name because autopsy results are still pending.
State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said residents need to be aware of home fire hazards.
“Some of the most common fire causes we see in our investigations are smoking-related and cooking-related, both totally preventable,” he said. “We urge residents to consider basic safety steps like remaining in the kitchen when cooking and conducting any smoking activities outside of the home in an environment that is free from flammable materials.”