Ascension Parish offers haven for fire victims
PRAIRIEVILLE - One special house in Ascension Parish gives victims of fires a place to live after disaster strikes.
Along Highway 621 in Prairieville the Ascension Fire House helps fire victims begin the road to recovery. In the past five years nearly two dozen families have used the house as a safe haven. The two-bedroom house gives families a place to stay while they try to rebound from fires.
Right now a family of eight are staying there at no cost after a fire damaged their Gonzales home and knocked out the electricity.
"Everything that was there just disappeared. It was all gone," said Linda Ovante. "It was devastating. I thought the whole thing was going to catch on fire, but thank God it didn't."
Gonzales Fire Chief Tracey Normand says fire stations from across the parish pitch in to keep the house looking good. The parish spends a few thousand dollars a year to pay the bills for the house.
"It gives a very warm feeling to me to be a part of this in knowing that I've helped a family beyond extinguishment, beyond saving you know a family pet or their lives if they were in the fire," he said.
The Ovante family expects to be back in their home in the next few days after the electricity and other damage is repaired, but for now the Ascension Fire House is home.
"I'm very grateful for it. It's comforting having a roof over your head," said Ovante.
If you would like to donate toiletries or other goods to the Ascension Fire House you can drop them off at any fire station in the parish.