NEW ORLEANS – Fire crews responded to a two-alarm fire on North Claiborne and Saint Bernard on Monday afternoon that left one home completely destroyed.
According to the New Orleans Fire Department, the fire occurred in the 1600 block of North Claiborne Avenue around 4 p.m. After firefighters arrived to the scene, the home collapsed and the fire spread to the home next door where two residents were inside. They are currently displaced as a result of the fire spreading.
Neighbors say the fire started in a home belonging to a 79-year-old woman, Josephine James.
James told Eyewitness News reporter Meg Farris that she has been living with friends around the corner from the home and prayed everyday in the doorway of the home that it could one day be fixed since she could not afford to repair it after Hurricane Katrina.
Mama Josephine James 79 years old homeless since Katrina, now her blighted house has burned down. Donations at the Hope Community Credit Union on OC Haley in her name. She has been staying with friends all this time. pic.twitter.com/Y0p0SKhhnJ— Meg Farris (@megfarrisWWL) November 13, 2017
No one was living in the home however fire crews conducted a secondary search of the home after James said that vagrants were recently asked to leave the property. Firefighters said that after the additional search, no victims were found inside.
House fire on the corner of North Robertson and Saint Bernard. I'm told it's the home of an elderly woman. pic.twitter.com/HiWXU2IQZS— Meg Farris (@megfarrisWWL) November 13, 2017
The fire has left the home completely destroyed. An official cause of the fire is not available at this time and is still being investigated.
18 NOFD fire units carrying 54 fire personnel were used to bring the fire under control. No injuries have been reported.