NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana State Fire Marshal has released the name of the victim of a fire in New Roads.
At about 1:00 a.m. Friday morning, 62-year-old Leonard V. Dimichele died in an apartment fire.
According to a release from the Fire Marshal, shortly after firefighters entered the apartment, one firefighter spotted Dimichele who was believed to be alive at that time. As that firefighter worked to get the man to the exit, they became unable to climb the staircase to the door, prompting a second firefighter to assist.
However, both firefighters were overcome with intense, rapidly-moving flames, forcing both firefighters to leave Dimichele behind.
The body of the victim was recovered by investigators. An autopsy finds that the victim died as a result of smoke inhalation and thermal injury.
Authorities say the unit was above a business on East Main Street. Investigators point to an Island type counter as the origin of the fire. As they are unable to rule out any malfunctions or failures of the electrical wiring of the island, the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. Investigators also found that there were no working smoke alarms in the apartment.
The cause of this fire remains under investigation.