Cold weather causes fire concerns

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
Gonzales Fire Department Chief Tracey Normand.

The City of Gonzales reported a total loss after a home on Purpera Road caught on fire on New Year's Eve.

The City of Gonzales Fire Department brought the fire under control in less than 30 minutes. Purpera Road at Eva Street was closed for some time.

Although an investigation was underway for the local fire, State Fire Marshal Browning has issued an emergency alert in anticipation of the record breaking cold and freezing temperatures currently being experienced throughout the State, according to a Facebook post on January 2.

Fire Marshal Deputies responded to seven fire investigations from January 1-2. These fires were in multiple areas of the State and ranged from single family residential fires to significant commercial structure fires.

There has been one reported injury associated with these fires, according to the State Fire Marshal. Fire Marshal Deputies have been placed on standby and will continue to respond in a very efficient and professional manner. They are urging everyone to please remain alert and aware of the following safety principles:

*Each residential occupancy should have working smoke alarms in each sleeping area and outside of each sleeping area.

*Heating devices should only be used for their intended use. Manufacturers' recommendation for safe use should be adhered to.

*Check regularly on the family, friends, and neighbors who may need assistance during these adverse weather conditions.

*If using gas fired heating devices make sure that there is a functional carbon monoxide alarm installed in the home.

"Fire Marshal Browning would like to thank the dedicated men and women of the Office of State Fire Marshal for their professional response to the increased calls for service during this holiday," reads the news release. "He would also like to thank the dedicated Firefighters, Emergency Medical Practitioners, and Law Enforcement Officers for their unselfish commitment to Life Safety, particularly during this most significant weather event."

We are asking the Ascension Parish community to be vigilant and careful when it comes to staying warm and dealing with fires in the coming days.