DeRIDDER, La. (KLFY) — State Fire Marshal deputies are continuing their investigation into a camper fire in DeRidder that claimed the life of a female resident, authorities said.
Beauregard Parish Fire District No. 2 responded just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday to a report of a camper fire located in the 6300 block of Hwy. 171 in DeRidder. When firefighters arrived, they learned that one woman had been able to escape, but a second was still inside. Unfortunately, the victim was later found in the camper’s bedroom area.
While official identification and cause of death are pending an autopsy by the Beauregard Parish Coroner’s Office, the victim is believed to be the 69-year-old owner of the camper.
Authroities said the fire began in the bedroom area where the victim was located but deputies have not yet determined an exact cause. Investigators said they are unable to rule out potential electrical issues identified by the survivor or possible unsafe smoking practices as contributing factors.
There were no working smoke alarms in the camper, authorities said.
The SFM would like to encourage avoiding the continued use of appliances or areas of a home with concerning electrical activities until a licensed electrician can review and repair any issues found. Also, avoid long-term use of extension cords and be aware of the wattage limitations of those cords and power strips to avoid overloading them which can cause overheating and become a fire hazard.
The SFM wants to stress to all Louisiana residents that smoke alarms have proven to be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency, no matter the type of home. If you need assistance obtaining smoke alarms for your home, Operations Save-A-Life can help. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, or to register for a free smoke alarm, visit our website at lasfm.org or contact your local fire department to request a free smoke alarm installation.
In addition, when it comes to safe smoking practices, the SFM always advises smoking outdoors and ensuring smoking materials are fully extinguished and discarded in appropriate containers. And keep smoking materials, especially spark-producing objects like lighters, out of the reach of children.