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State Fire Marshal offers cooking safety tips following Natchitoches fatal fire

by Minden Press-Herald

NATCHITOCHES PARISH- State Fire Marshal Chief Bryan J. Adams is emphasizing the importance of cooking safety after a weekend house fire claimed the life of a Natchitoches man.

Around 7:45 a.m. on Friday, April 5, the Natchitoches Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire located in the 400 block of Gibson Street. Firefighters learned a passerby noticed smoke coming from the home, called 911 and attempted to alert anyone inside by banging on the door.

Unfortunately, firefighters did locate the body of a man in a hallway when they arrived.

While identification and official cause of death are pending with the Coroner’s Office, the victim is believed to be the 72-year-old homeowner and sole occupant of the home.

Through the initial investigation, State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies determined the fire began in the home’s kitchen. At this time, the cause is believed to be unattended cooking related to a hot plate on a countertop that was in use at the time the fire started.

The SFM urges the common practice of these key cooking safety tips:

•             Stay within eyesight of any cooking equipment you are actively using especially involving an open flame

•             Keep cooking environments free of clutter and combustible materials

•             Avoid cooking when tired, distracted or impaired

Lastly, deputies were unable to locate any working smoke alarms in the home. If you have smoke alarms in your home, ensure they are working by confirming effective batteries with a press of the test button today. If you do not have smoke alarms in your home, and you need assistance accessing them, Operation Save-A-Life can help. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, or to register for a free smoke alarm installation, visit our website at lasfm.org or contact your local fire department to request a free smoke alarm installation.

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