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Man dies trying to save dog in Louisiana’s first fatal fire of 2022

The fire happened Sunday night.
The fire happened Sunday night.(Source: Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal)
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 12:12 PM CST
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UPDATE: A GoFundMe has been started to help the family. You can find it here.

OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The State Fire Marshal’s Office says Louisiana’s first fatal fire of 2022 claimed the life of an Ouachita Parish man and his dog.

It happened late on Jan. 2 in the 100 block of Highway 3033 south of West Monroe.

The victim was not identified by name, pending official confirmation of identity, but it’s believed he is the 69-year-old tenant. They say the tenant was able to get out of the home but went back in to save his dog. Unfortunately, his heroic act cost him his life. The man and the dog were both found dead inside by firefighters.

Authorities say the fire started outside in the carport area.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office provided the following details:

State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating the circumstances surrounding a late-night house fire in West Monroe that claimed the life of a male resident and his dog. This is the first fire fatality of 2022.

Around 11:15 p.m. on January 2, the Ouachita Parish Fire Department responded to a report of a residential fire located in the 100 block of Highway 3033. Firefighters learned that the sole occupant of the home had escaped, but re-entered the home in an attempt to save his pet dog and never came back out. Firefighters later located the man’s body in the home’s living room. The remains of his pet dog were found in a bedroom.

While official identification is pending, the victim is believed to be the 69-year-old tenant of the home.

Following an assessment of the scene, deputies have determined the fire originated on the exterior of the home in the area of the carport. While the official cause of this fire remains undetermined at this time, SFM investigators are unable to rule out the possibility of electrical malfunction.

Deputies were unable to locate working smoke alarms in the home. However, even with the presence of working smoke alarms to alert occupants to a fire danger, the SFM wants to stress the importance of getting out of a burning structure as fast as possible, then staying out.

“The goal is first to do whatever you can to prevent fire,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “But if you experience fire, the priority is getting out safely. Possessions can be purchased again. Life cannot.”

The SFM would like to stress the importance of having working smoke alarms. If you need assistance obtaining smoke alarms for your home, Operations Save-A-Life can help. The program partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, visit our website at lasfm.org.

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