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Improper Heating Suspected in Deadly Mansfield Fire

by Minden Press-Herald

DESOTO PARISH- State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue investigating a deadly mobile home fire in Mansfield that claimed the life of a grandmother and injured her grandson.

Just after 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, the Mansfield Fire Department responded to a report of a mobile home fire located in the 100 block of Division Street. Upon arrival, firefighters learned neighbors were able to rescue a 6-year-old boy from the home, but that his grandmother was still inside. The child was taken to an area hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.

The victim, in her 60s, was later found in her bedroom. Official identification and cause of death are pending with the Desoto Parish Coroner’s Office.

Following an assessment of the scene and collecting witness statements, SFM deputies have been able to determine the fire began in the center of the mobile home where the kitchen and living room areas were located. In addition to finding evidence of space heater use in the home, deputies confirmed the oven was also being used for heating.

This tragedy highlights the safe home heating tips the SFM has been sharing with the public for the past week ahead of the frigid weather we are now experiencing. In addition to advising not to use stoves or ovens to heat homes due to the fire and carbon monoxide danger that practice poses, those tips include:

•         Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets and curtains

•         Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords

•         Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood-burning stoves

•         Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended

Also, deputies were unable to confirm the presence of working smoke alarms in the home. The SFM stresses to all Louisiana residents that smoke alarms have proven to be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency, no matter the type of home.

If you need assistance obtaining smoke alarms for your home, Operations Save-A-Life can help. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, visit our website at lasfm.org.

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