VERMILION PARISH - State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding a fatal house fire in Abbeville overnight.
Just after midnight on Dec. 2, the Abbeville Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire located in the 600 block of Alphonse Street. Firefighters later located the body of a man in the home’s living room.
While official identification and cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Vermilion Parish Coroner’s Office, the victim is believed to be the 80-year-old homeowner.
Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire originated in the home’s kitchen.
Through witness statements, it was learned the home was without power and that the homeowner had been seen purchasing large amounts of candles in recent days. While the official cause of this fire remains undetermined at this time, deputies cannot rule out unsafe heating practices as a possible contributing factor.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind residents to practice safe home heating as temperatures continue to be quite cold across the state this week and continuing through the weekend.
Some of the top safety tips are:
- Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets
- Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords
- Do not use stoves or ovens to heat homes
- Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood burning stoves
- Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended
- Have working smoke alarms in your home
The SFM’s Operation Save-A-Life program partners with local fire departments and districts to provide FREE smoke alarm installations, at any time of the year, for families in need of assistance accessing the critical emergency-alert equipment.