BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A fire a few weeks ago on N 16th Street has prompted one Baton Rouge woman to say enough is enough and speak up for her neighborhood.
“It started off with smoke. The flames ran onto the power line,” said LaToya Lewis. “It ran from behind my house to her house.”
That’s not a statement you hear everyday, and watching it in real time, Lewis says was just as surprising.
“The power line was actually on fire, on fire. I just think that’s ridiculous,” Lewis said.
It was two weeks ago when Lewis heard something strange coming from her neighbor’s house on N 16 Street. “Four guys had her saying, ‘You need to get your baby out the house.’ The power line just sparked, and it caught on fire,” she said.
You can see a fire brewing in the trees in cell phone video taken by Lewis. Baton Rouge fire crews arrived to find power lines burning behind the house. Lewis says it didn’t take long for flames to take over the home.
According to BRFD, the cause was electrical. The home is a total loss. Its electrical issues like these that Lewis says aren’t new to the block.
Lewis says the transformers make noise and rattle, not to mention the lights go out constantly. “The lights go off, comes back on and goes off on a consistent basis," she said.
She claims to have been reporting problems to Entergy for the last seven years, but says it’s falling on deaf ears. “Our calls have gone unnoticed,” she said. “They will forward my call to a supervisor and that’s it. You never hear anything back from it.”
WAFB reached out to Entergy and found out they are going to go out to the area and inspect it and if they find an issue, they say they’ll correct it.
Lewis says watching her neighbor lose her home was the last straw, so she’s speaking out. “It could’ve been anybody, but it was that lady next door,” she said. “She’s going through so much. She doesn’t have a home. I thank God I still do, but I’m her voice. She’s my neighbor, I’m her voice.”
Lewis says right now, she’s not asking for much, but maybe a little extra attention to a neighborhood she says is being put on the back burner. “I know someone can reach out to us, somebody can inside their heart right now and feel what I’m saying, as a customer,” she said. “It could’ve been your children.”
Entergy said in a written statement:
“Each time a customer experiences an outage, a serviceman inspects the area to identify and eliminate the cause of the outage before power is restored. We work to address all customer complaints, which is why we are planning to conduct additional inspections as soon as possible to address the concerns of residents in the N 16th Street area.”