BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Fire investigators said a 71-year-old man is dead after accidentally setting his house on fire while trying to keep warm early Wednesday morning.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department said it happened at a home on Sycamore Street in Baton Rouge a little before 2 a.m.
The victim has been identified as Curtis Moore.
Robert Combs, a spokesperson for BRFD, said they believe the victim was lighting fires in different containers in order to produce heat. He added the home had no utilities.
Neighbors said Moore was quiet and kept to himself, but was well-liked in the area. Some said he would pick up trash in their yards.
"He was a good person. I really grew up with Curtis. He's always been here through the neighborhood," Frederick Robertson said. "That's somebody that we see every day, for you to see someone every day and now they're gone, man that's hard."
The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging works with seniors to prevent these types of incidents. Blankets, heaters and assistance with utility payments are available to those over 60 who qualify.
"This year we have seen an uptick in the requests for different things such as heaters and of course assistance, and through our supporters we've been able to meet those challenges," said EBRCOA Director of Development Corey Williams.
Williams said interested seniors should call 225-923-8000 for more information. He also said there is an ongoing need for monetary donations to keep heaters and blankets in stock.
The council can also direct seniors to appropriate shelters.
"Start very early trying to get into the shelters that have been put in place for [the elderly] to try and stay warm. Don't try to stay warm on your own with methods that are not normal," Combs said.