Safety vigilance urged following fatal fires

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal is urging fire safety awareness and action in homes across the state after a rash of fatal fires over the past 11 days.

Three adults and four children have lost their lives in six fires since October 15. These fires have occurred in all four of the agency’s enforcement areas.

The majority of these fires involved the absence of working smoke detectors to warn the occupants about the fire danger in their homes.

“This is unacceptable,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “We, along with local fire departments and districts, constantly hammer the point about the significant difference between life or death that smoke detectors can make.”

“Not only do we need families to really hear that message, but we need them to act on it,” said Browning.

The LAOSFM 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 for more information on the program.

We also emphasize to families to have an escape plan for your home that includes knowing two ways out of every room in your home. Just as children practice fire drills at school, we encourage families to practice their home escape plans on a monthly basis.

Lastly, we’re implore residents to use common sense when heating their homes this Fall and Winter season, which is only just beginning. A safe heating tips video can be found on our agency social media sites.

Contributed by La. Office of State Fire Marshal