Four displaced by LaPlace fire

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — An early morning fire ripped through a LaPlace house early Wednesday morning leaving its residents with few belongings and no home.

The four occupants of the home, located at 615 W. 5th St. in LaPlace, were able to escape the one-story burning building through a back door in the kitchen. No one was injured in the blaze since most of the fire was concentrated toward the front of the house, according to firefighters on the scene.

“I was up getting ready for work when my nephew came running from the bedroom screaming the house was on fire,” said Jerry Randal, one of the residents of the home. “We both grabbed an ice chest full of water to try and douse the fire, but it had already gotten too out of control.”

St. John District Fire Chief Doug Brasington said the fire started sometime around 7:17 a.m. and firefighters were on the scene by 7:20 a.m. He said the cause of the blaze has not been determined. He said the electricity in the home was turned off at the time of the fire and the residents were using candles to light the home.

“I had just woken up when I turned over to see fire everywhere,” said Carnell Randal, the occupant of the room where the fire may have started. “All I could do was run out of the house and call 911.”

Curtis Randal, another resident of the home, said he had been renting the house the past 10 years. He said he was awoken by the screams of the other men inside.

“It was bad,” said Curtis Randal. “Real bad.”

Firefighters from LaPlace and Reserve worked to control the blaze, which was finally extinguished about 8:50 a.m. Firefighters had to tear away portions of the building’s roof to get to the last smoldering embers of the fire. The response team blocked both lanes of West 5th Street, between Elm Street and Birch Street, until the fire was extinguished.