MONTEGUT, La. - In the rubble of a burned mobile home in Montegut, a close family friend found a photograph Wednesday of the woman who died inside.
“That smile,” said Precious Ridneour, as she held the photo. “That's what I'm going to miss.”
You can still see the bed frame where Ruby Sevin, 70, was sleeping when a fire broke out around 4:50 a.m. Monday. The beloved grandmother was bedridden and couldn't escape the massive blaze.
“Nobody should have to go like that,” said Ridneour. “I couldn't turn them off.”
Three others were inside the home at the time. Sevin's daughter, son-in-law and 10-year-old granddaughter managed to escape. The family is staying with Ridneour until they find a permanent place to live.
Sevin’s son-in-law tried to rush back inside the burning home, but wasn’t able to reach her in time.
“He came in rushing through the back door, and it singed his hair. His ear got burned. The flames was so hot it just pushed him back out,” said Ridneour.
Ridneour, who lives nearby, said the flames “lit up the sky.”
A pet ferret also died and a kitten is still missing.
Fire investigators say the fire began on the front porch and then quickly spread to the living room, where Sevin was sleeping.
They say smoke alarms that were recently installed by the local fire department probably saved the lives of everyone else inside.
“In this situation, by the time we arrived there was no doubt in my mind that it was too late, that anything could not be done,” said Chief Toby Henry.
Now, the community is coming together to help a family who has lost everything and pray for a sweet grandmother who will be sorely missed.
Ridneour said the community has donated clothing and even air mattresses to the survivors so they have a place to sleep.
If you would like to donate, you can do so in Ruby Sevin’s name at TEA Federal Credit Union in Houma.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The fire department reminds everyone to be cautious with heaters and electrical wiring as the cold weather sets in.
They also remind everyone to check their fire alarms. If you would like your local fire department to install a free smoke alarm, click here.