Rash of home fires in Ascension cause for concern

Staff Report

Ascension Parish Fire District No. 1 Chairman James E. LeBlanc recently expressed concern with the number of home fires that have occurred in the Ascension Parish area since April 1. Some of these fires were very close calls for the residents that were in the home at the time of the fire, according to the chief.

“Following some simple fire prevention tips could have prevented most of these fires from occurring” LeBlanc said.

Fifteen structure fires have occurred in  Fire District No. 1 since April 1. Fire Disrict No. 1 covers  St. Amant, Geismar, 7th. District, 5th Ward, Galvez-Lake and Sorrento Volunteer Fire departments.

Out of the 15 fires, only two were considered arson, according to LeBlanc. The most recent was the recent structure fire on Summerfield North Road where the home was set fire and the owner died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound while firefighters were responding to the call.

Five kitchen fires that caused significant damage to residences in the Ascension area were reported in the last 30 days. These fires had one common factor contributing to their cause – stove left unattended. Ascension residents need to be aware of how fast a fire can grow and how important it is to watch what you have on the stove.

Three structure fires occurred by lightning striking the home during bad weather, LeBlanc said. These homes were saved from total loss to the homeowner, but a significant amount of damage occurred to the wiring systems of the homes.

One Ascension home was completely destroyed when the homeowner was burning piles of brush outside the home for general clean-up.

LeBlanc described the areas where the 15 fires occurred since April 1 as follows:

•    Belle Alliance Rd. – Galvez community.

•    Hwy. 42 near the Ascension & Livingston lines

•    Beech Street – Galvez community

•    Hwy 74 – Gonzales & 7th Dist. area

•    LA Coulee Road – St. Amant community

•    Cannon Road – St. Amant community

•    Laurel Ridge – St. Amant community

•    Hwy 22 – near the Ascension & Livingston lines

•    Earl Bercegeay Rd. – 7th Dist. community

•    Deck Blvd. – Geismar community

•    Bull Run Rd. – Geismar community

•    Connor Rd. – Geismar community

•    Summer Field North – Galvez community

•    Wesley Evans Rd. – Galvez community

•    Norwood Rd. – Galvez community

LeBlanc remindsAscension Parish residents how important it is to have operating smoke alarms that can alert you in time to escape a fire.