TANGIPAHOA PARISH, La. — A house fire caused by a space heater in Pontchatoula took the life of a 77-year-old man and injured his wife on Friday, according to a press release from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal.
The Ponchatoula Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire in the 18000 block of Esterbrook at around 6:15 p.m. on Friday, January 27.
Firefighters learned there were two occupants in the home at the time of the fire. The wife had managed to get out of the house but was injured in the process of getting her bedridden husband into a wheelchair and could not get him out of the home.
The husband was eventually rescued by firefighters but he later died at an area hospital.
State Fire Marshal deputies determined that a space heater had been left running unattended and was in the near vicinity of clothing and bedding, which caught fire.
The press release said that the SFM urges Louisianans to practice safe home heating practices in the following ways:
• Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets and curtains
• Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords
• Do not use stoves, ovens, or grills to heat homes
• Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood-burning stoves
• Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended