Maringouin Looking for new Fire Chief

MARINGOUIN, LA (WAFB) - Sparks are flying in the small town of Maringouin after the mayor gave the pink slip to the fire chief. Now residents are worried about their safety and fire safety ratings.

Former Fire Chief Mike Gaudet says he doesn't know why mayor Demi Vorise fired him a couple of days ago. He said the entire volunteer fire department is in chaos. On top of his firing, he said at least 7 other fire fighters quit which could leave the town vulnerable. This could result in a declining fire safety rating for the city due to slower response time.

"We have about 3,000 people in our district,” said Gaudet. “What is going to happen if there is a structure fire or something? It's going to take the fire department a long time to get there."

Maringouin Mayor Demi Vorise didn't want to go on camera, but she did give this statement.

"The town of Maringouin has adequate fire protection in a case of an emergency." says Mayor Vorise, "The town has a mutual aid contract with other surrounding parishes in any emergency. The first assistant of the fire department is acting as chief until one is appointed."

Homeowner Mike Pitslata talked with his insurance company just yesterday about the impact on his premium due to a possible chance in the fire rating, which is currently at a 5. He wasn't happy about what he was told.

"If it going to a 10 my insurance will probably going to go up around 57%," explained Pitslata. "It's something nobody can afford in this town."

Mayor Vorise said she will appoint a new chief by the end of February.

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