Update on fatal Mt. Airy Fire: Deputies determine fire began in the kitchen

Published 1:32 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

ST. JOHN PARISHState Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies continue to investigate a house fire in Mt. Airy that claimed the lives of a mother and her two children.

Around 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13, the St. John Parish Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire located in the 100 block of Marigold Street in the Mt. Airy community. Upon arrival, firefighters learned there were possibly as many as four people still inside of the structure which was an above-garage residence associated with an unaffected one-story home.

Unfortunately, the bodies of three victims were ultimately found. A 38-year-old woman was found in the area of a bathroom, a 7-year-old girl was found in a bedroom and a 2-year-old boy was found near the exit door at the top of a stairwell just feet from the adult, who was the children’s mother. They were all residents of the home.

Official identification and cause of death are available from the St. John Parish Coroner’s Office.

Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire began in the kitchen area of the home. At this time, deputies have been unable to rule out the possibility of electrical malfunction related to wiring around the stove area.

When it comes to electrical safety, the SFM recommends avoiding the continued use of appliances or areas of a home with concerning electrical activity until a licensed electrician can review and repair any issues found.

Lastly, there were no working smoke alarms in the home. The SFM wants to stress 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, Operation Save-A-Life can help. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, or to register for a free smoke alarm, visit our website at lasfm.org or contact your local fire department to request a free smoke alarm installation.

The SFM would like to thank all public and private partners that assisted with this tragic investigation including the St. John Parish Fire Department, St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Marathon Refinery-Garyville.