ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — A family is grieving the loss of 51-year-old grandmother Stacey Glass in Bush after she died minutes into the new year in a house fire.
"The people across the driveway from them were cleaning up and heard noises but couldn’t see anything. When they went to investigate they realized what was going on, that's when they called us," said St. Tammany Fire District 9 Chief Scott Brewer. “The heat was intense, flames, smoke, they (family) cut a small hole in the side. Part of my people went to extinguish the flames, the others cut a bigger hole so they could get in and look for the victim. They were not successful."
He said firefighters received the 911 call before 1 a.m. on New Year's Day. A total of 25 firefighters, including six volunteer firefighters and firefighters from nearby fire departments. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office also responded.
"We were on scene within six minutes, which is a longer response time than normal because of the fog," Chief Brewer said.
Glass's family tells us she was a grandmother of six.
"Apparently she had had a gathering there with at least one grandchild who was picked up shortly before this happened, thank goodness," Chief Brewer said.
Her family also shared she was always there for everyone.
"Of course it's devastating. The family is, it's tight-knit. It’s kind of a family compound back there. They are gathered close together. I understand she was a great grandma and she took care of those kids immensely, loved them," Chief Brewer said.
The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating what may have caused it.
"We do not believe it was fireworks-related," Chief Brewer said.
Her family said they weren't sure when they will be able to hold a funeral.
"The family is not prepared for this financially and they are asking for help if possible," Chief Brewer said.
They are hoping to raise at least $5,000 through a Go Fund Me account to say their proper goodbyes.