KENNER - A house fire on East Loyola Avenue left a 43-year-old Kenner woman and her dog dead Friday morning.
The incident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. in the 3700 block of East Loyola Drive in Kenner.
Kenner Fire Chief John Hellmers said the fire got out of hand quickly. Neighbors tried in vain to reach the woman, knocking out windows in an attempt to gain access to the home.
"The fire got really big fast," said Derrick Henry. Henry and his son saw the fire spread quickly.
The neighbors said they could hear the dog barking inside, but the smoke and flames were too intense. Those neighbors busted out windows trying to save the woman from the fire.
"Even one guy ran into the house, but due to the smoke being so strong he came out coughing," said Henry. "My prayers go out to the family in a time like this."
Hellmers said firefighters arrived just four minutes after the alarm was sounded.
“The guys made an aggressive attack and went in simultaneously attacking the fire and searching for occupants,” Hellmers said.
Firefighters discovered the body on the floor in a rear bedroom.
"I've been knowing her forever," said Meredith Coughlin, who described her as a kind, caring woman. "She was like a sister to me. She loved that dog. That dog loved her."
“The only thing obvious right now is that the fire first started in the front room where heavy char was observed,” Hellmers said. "We have no reason to suspect foul play at this point."
Hellmers said there were no smoke alarms in the home.
(© 2016 WWL)