PEARL RIVER, LA — Late Monday evening State Fire Marshal investigators responded to a residential fire in the community of Pearl River which claimed the life of a 58-year-old woman and sent her 61-year-old brother to the hospital. An investigation into the circumstances of the fire led investigators toward an accidental cause.
Just after 9:00 p.m. on Monday, firefighters from St. Tammany Fire District # 7 were dispatched to a residential fire on LA Hwy. 41. Upon their arrival, a mobile home was found engulfed in flames. After extinguishing the fire, it was determined that one of the home’s occupants had not escaped the fire and a second occupant who had escaped, suffered minor to moderate burn injuries. Fire officials requested assistance from State Fire Marshal Investigators to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
The fire caused structural failure and the roof of the mobile home which had partially collapsed had to be removed before the investigation could proceed. Based on the fire patterns observed, the fire was determined to have originated in the center of the home. Due to the severe damage to the structure caused by the fire, and the continuation of the investigation, the cause of the fire is being classified as undetermined at this time. Investigators noted that no working smoke detection devices were present in the home at the time of the fire.
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning stated, “We have no conclusion at this time, but we will be working in hopes of finding answers to this tragic loss of life. We are once again investigating a fire death in a home with no working smoke alarms. Let this be a wakeup call as to the importance of these lifesaving devices.”
An autopsy is being performed today on the deceased victim and the investigation is continuing. All names are being withheld at this time.