Two children killed, three adults injured in Belle Chasse fire

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PLAQUEMINES PARISH- The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal is investigating the circumstances surrounding a tragic mobile home fire that claimed the lives of two children and injured three adults.

The Belle Chasse Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire call just before 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21 in the 11000 block of Highway 23.

The LAOSFM was contacted to investigate after the discovery of a 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl inside the remains of the burned mobile home.  Three other occupants of the home at the time of the fire were hospitalized with injuries.  Those injuries include smoke inhalation and thermal burns from attempts to save the children.  A firefighter also received a minor burn during his attempt to save the children. He was treated on scene and released.  The remains of two dogs were also discovered on the scene.

While this investigation is still on-going, deputies believe an addition to the mobile home, which was unoccupied at the time of the fire, is the likely area of origin.  Their preliminary investigation into the cause suggests that it is possibly electrical in nature.  Investigators believe as the occupants attempted to escape the home, the children were separated from the adults and they ended up trapped near the front wall of the mobile home in a bedroom.

While investigators have not yet discovered evidence of working smoke alarms in the home, witness statements indicate they were present and sounding at the time of the fire.

The Plaquemines Parish Coroner’s Office will be releasing their preliminary findings from this morning’s autopsies, along with the identification of the children.

As this is now the fourth fatal fire in our state in a week’s time, the LAOSFM continues to stress the life-saving difference that smoke alarms can make in a fire emergency.  Our agency partners with local fire departments and districts to provide FREE smoke alarm installations at any time of the year through our Operation Save-A-Life program.  Visit lasfm.org for more information on the program.

Despite this tragic fire likely not being related to this Fall/Winter season’s first “cold snap,” we want to remind the public about safely heating their homes.  On Friday, the LAOSFM published key tips on that topic in a video on social media.  Those tips included cleaning heating systems and fireplaces before use, keeping space heaters 3-5 feet away from combustibles and a warning against using stoves and/or ovens to heat homes.