Fire destroys home in St. Amant

ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - A family is in need of assistance after a fire destroyed their home Thursday morning.

It happened on Taylor Sheets Jr. Road in St. Amant around 7:15 a.m. Firefighters were able to get it under control around 8:30 a.m.

Fire Chief James Leblanc with the St. Amant Fire Department said neighbors reported power in the area went out sometime between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., so the family lit candles because the children ages 2, 6, 8 and 10 were scared.

Rule Guidry says things were fine until this morning, when one of her daughters was reaching for her shoes on the entertainment center in the homes living room.  When she grabbed the shoes, she knocked over the candle and a curtain caught on fire.

"She says 'Mama it's on fire'," said Guidry through tears.  Guidry says she was coming out of the bathroom and her daughter was yelling in the hallway.  Guidry and her husband were able to get all the children out safely.

No injuries were reported. But the home is considered a total loss.

Guidry says among all the things that could not be saved were two family pets: a dog and a duck.  She says there were also unable to save things like her children's baby books.

"Memories can be replaced," Guedry said.  "But my kids can't be replaced."

Her oldest son, Michael, is handicapped.  He uses a wheelchair to get around.  His manual chair burned in the fire along with several specially fitted braces to stretch the muscles in his arms and legs.  Her son has been through 16 surgeries already, Guedry has kept some of the pieces used in surgery as a reminder of how far her son has come.  Those things were also unable to be saved.

"His halo from when he had surgery at six months old," she said.  There are pieces from the other children's births that are also gone.  "Their bracelets from when they came home from the hospital...everything that's special."

Guedry says her son has not been given a diagnosis.  She says she has been told if they can't diagnose his disability, it will be named after him.

Luckily Michael did have another wheelchair, a motorized chair that he uses at school.  But it doesn't not fit in the family's van.

"This family lost everything they own.  And I'm asking the public and community in Ascension Parish to do what they can to try to wrap their warms around this family," said St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc.

LeBlanc adds this fire is in the same area where voters recently voted down a tax that would give them a 24/7 manned fire station.  LeBlanc says right now all the firefighters are volunteers, but having people at the fire station round the clock would mean firefighters could get to fires sooner.

The children are all in need of clothes.


The 2-year-old boy wears 2T-3T.

The 6-year-old girl wears a 5.

The 8-year-old girl wears a 7.

The 10-year-old boy wears a 5.

A neighbor says she will be passing a collection bucket around the area, to get a donation for the family.

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