Fire destroys Pelican Crossing house Wednesday

Wade McIntyre
Gonzales Fire Department firefighters worked to contain a house fire at 6291 Pelican Crossing in the Burnside area Wednesday morning. Authorities said the house was a total loss and the cause is under investigation.

BURNSIDE – A fire that authorities believe started in a front bedroom destroyed a house at 6291 Pelican Crossing off of Hwy. 44 in the Burnside area late Wednesday morning.

Gonzales Fire Department acting Fire Chief Tracey Normand said no one was in the home at the time of the fire, and that the house was a total loss.

The house is owned by Lasonja Dunbar, Normand said. Dunbar, a real estate agent with  1st American Real Estate Group LLC, is also an owner of the Outback Lounge, located at 9306 Ashland Road in Gonzales.

Normand said Gonzales was the second fire department dispatched to the fire and the first to arrive on the scene. Gene Witek of the First Fire District said the First District received the initial call, but no volunteer firefighters were in town at the time and there was no paid fireman on duty Wednesday, so Gonzales was the automatic backup.

Normand said flames were showing from the left front bedroom window and the roof of the house when firefighters arrived at the scene.

“We initiated the attack with a crew on the inside of the house and a deck gun outside,” Normand said.

When the Gonzales ladder truck arrived, Normand manned the ladder hose and Assistant Chief Leo Graves handled operations on the ground.

Also dispatched to the scene were the Sorrento Volunteer Fire Department and a tanker truck from the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department.

Normand said about 60 percent of the attic roof of the house was destroyed. The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation, he said.

“An attic fire is hard to put out,” Normand said. Once a fire gets going in a home with a high style Acadian roof like the house that burned, there is so much space that the fire is going to travel, consuming light pine wood, decking made from wood and glue, and items that people store in their attics, he said.

The fire was reported by a neighbor who saw fire coming from the house, Normand said.

One of the first persons on the scene was area contractor Dempsey Pendarvis who was working nearby when he saw the cloud of smoke from the house fire and rushed to the scene.

Normand said Pendarvis was shooting water from a garden hose at the fire in the bedroom area when firefighters arrived at the scene.

The fire was contained in about 20 minutes after firefighters arrived, Normand said.

The fire at 6291 Pelican Crossing was contained within about 20 minutes, but the house was a total loss, according to Gonzales acting Fire Chief Tracey Normand.