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August 18, 2023

State Fire Marshal Continues Investigation of Fatal House Fire That Claimed Life of Franklinton Disabled Man

A press release from the Office of Louisiana State Fire reports that SFM deputies continue to investigate a house and brush fire in Franklinton that claimed the life of a disabled man.

Around 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, the Franklinton Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire located on H.C. Rushing Road off of the 21000 block of John D Wood Road. When firefighters arrived, they found a large home on fire as well as several acres of the associated property surrounding the home burning. Unfortunately, firefighters later located the body of a man in the remains of the home. While official identification is pending, the victim is believed to be the 72-year-old homeowner who had mobility challenges.

Though this investigation continues, following an assessment of the scene and conducting witness statements, at this time, deputies believe the fire began outside of the home then spread to the home. There was evidence of several burn piles on the property, some located just feet from the home, but at this time, deputies have been unable todetermine which, if any, may have been active around the time the house fire was discovered.

The SFM would like to remind Louisianans that a statewide burn ban order of all private burning remains in effect due to dangerously dry and hot conditions. The order has been in effect since 5:00 p.m. on August 7, 2023, and shall remain in effect until rescinded.

This ban shall not apply to prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, by those trained and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or by those who conduct prescribed burning as a “generally accepted agriculture practice” as defined by the Louisiana Right to Farm Law (R.S. 3:3601 et seq.).

The use of barbeque grills, fire pits and small campfires for brief, recreational cooking purposes are allowed and not affected by the burn ban, though these practices are strongly discouraged at this time.

Violation of this order could result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

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