IBERIA PARISH - State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating the circumstances surrounding a weekend house fire that has now claimed the lives of both occupants.
Just before 8 a.m. on October 11, the Iberia Fire Department responded to reports of an explosion and fire at a home in the 200 block of Lost Lake Lane in New Iberia.
Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a badly-burned, 73-year-old male occupant who was at the edge of the driveway trying to get help. The body of a 70-year-old female occupant was later found inside. The male occupant was transported to a specialized burn unit for treatment, but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries this morning.
Official identifications and causes of death are determined and released by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office.
Following an assessment of the scene and obtaining witness statements, SFM deputies determined the fire occurred in conjunction with the female occupant lighting a cigarette. Hurricane Delta damage observed around the home, including broken pipes and the smell of natural gas, led investigators to believe a natural gas leak was active at the time the cigarette was lit, leading to the explosion and fire. Further evaluation by utility prof essionals in the days since the fire have further confirmed that determination.
The Louisiana Department of Health has officially verified these deaths as storm-related.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind all Louisianans to thoroughly assess any possible infrastructure damage to your home following a storm, and if any is observed, shut that service off, report the issue to the provider and refrain from using that utility service until professional repairs are complete.