Firefighters say three people are dead, including a young child, and an elderly man was hurt in a 2-alarm house fire in New Orleans East early Friday morning.
According to the New Orleans Fire Department, the fire broke out around 1:36 a.m. in the 7700 block of Wave Drive. Fire Chief Timothy McConnell said firefighters found fires blowing out of the home's front windows.
Firefighters say burglar bars on the home slightly delayed entry into the home. Inside, firefighters rescued an 80-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy. Both victims were transported to a local hospital, but the child later died. The elderly man was airlifted to a burn unit in Baton Rouge, family members tell Eyewitness News.
NOFD reports that a 70-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman did not escape the fire and died at the scene.
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The identities of the victims have not been released at this time.
Firefighters say neighbors tried to enter the home before crews arrived but were unsuccessful.
McConnell said it is unclear at this time whether the home had smoke alarms. The fire was brought under control at 2:22 a.m. Firefighters are still investigating the scene.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu released the following statement about the fire:
“My heart aches for the victims and family of this tragic fire. It is hard anytime a tragedy like this happens, but it is especially hard during the holiday season. Our prayers remain for the elder who is fighting to recover and all family and friends impacted. I also want to thank and remember the men and women who continue to put their lives on the line for us - the 42 firefighters who worked throughout the early morning hours to stop the blaze and save lives.”
This is a developing story. Stay with WWL-TV and WWLTV.com for updates as new information becomes available.