IBERIA PARISH - State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating the circumstances surrounding a mobile home fire in New Iberia that claimed the life of a female occupant.
At approximately 9 a.m. on Nov. 23, Iberia Parish Fire District #1 responded to a call for a mobile home fire located in the 5200 block of Norris Road in New Iberia. Upon firefighters’ arrival, a male occupant of the home alerted them that a female occupant, his 74-year-old mother, was still inside.
Firefighters later discovered the woman’s body inside near the back door. Official identification and cause of death are pending an autopsy by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office.
Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire originated in the home’s living room.
Deputies learned while speaking with the surviving occupant that he was in his bedroom when he heard his mother yelling about hearing a popping sound coming from outside the front door. When he looked for the source of the sounds, he discovered a fire around a window A/C unit right next to the front door. The man reported attempting to put the fire out with a water hose, but when that was unsuccessful, he and a neighbor made an attempt to save his mother, only to be blocked by the ceiling falling in.
While the exact cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time, investigators are not ruling out the possibility of electrical malfunction related to the recently installed window A/C unit as a contributing factor.
The SFM would like to remind residents that you should never reenter a burning structure for anything or anyone. In addition, the agency is reiterating the importance of working smoke alarms in giving residents critical seconds to escape a fire unharmed. If you cannot access smoke alarms, visit lasfm.org to learn more about Operation Save-A-Life which is a partnership between the SFM and local fire departments to install free smoke alarms in homes across the state.