Father, daughter die in fire caused by unattended cooking

Published 9:17 am Monday, January 2, 2023

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FRANKLIN PARISH (Dec. 30, 2022)- State Fire Marshal deputies have concluded their investigation into a house fire in Winnsboro that claimed the lives of the disabled homeowner and his adult daughter.
Right at Noon on Thursday, Dec. 29, the Winnsboro Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire located in the 500 block of Dummyline Road in Winnsboro. Upon arrival, firefighters located two victims in the home’s den area. A woman was found near the door exiting to the carport while a man was found feet away from a hospital bed near a walker.
“Official identification and cause of death is pending with our office, but we believe the victims to be Harold Peoples, 71, and Lea Ann Peoples, 38, both of Winnsboro,” said Shane Scott, spokesperson for the Franklin Parish Coroner’s Office.
After an assessment of the scene and collecting witness statements, SFM deputies determined the fire began in the kitchen and was caused by unattended cooking.
The SFM wants to remind all Louisianans about these key cooking safety tips:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove
• Keep cooking environments free of clutter and combustible materials
• Keep children at least three feet away from the stove, sharp objects and hot foods and/or liquids
• Avoid cooking when tired, distracted or impaired
• Keep a lid close by in the event a small, stovetop fire occurs that can be smothered by placing the lid over it and turning off the heat
• If an oven fire occurs, turn off the heat and leave the door closed
• When a large cooking fire occurs, get yourself and any other occupants out of the home immediately and call 911 for help
In addition, deputies were unable to confirm the presence of working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are proven to be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency. The SFM’s Operation Save-A-Life partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free for families that need them most. To learn more about the program, visit lasfm.org. To request a smoke alarm installation, contact your local fire department.