Three deadly fires claim three lives, injure two others in the last week

Three deadly fires claim three lives, injure two others in the last week

(WAFB) - Three accidental, but deadly, fires have claimed three lives and injured two others since Saturday.

State Fire Marshal officials continue to investigate these unrelated fires, but they all have one thing in common: none of the homes involved had working fire alarms.

The first fire, which occurred at 6212 Hwy. 1 in Batchelor on Saturday, January 28, claimed the life of Irwin Charles Hopkins, 83. His body was found in a hallway in the northeast area of the single-story, wood-framed home.

The second fire, this one in Natchitoches, left Theron E. Starness, 55, dead. This trailer fire happened at 7568 Hwy. 6 on Sunday morning. Starnes' body was found in the middle of the trailer during efforts to put out the fire.

In the third fire, two people were injured and another was killed. The fire, which happened on Tuesday morning, involved an older model manufactured home in Columbia. Dennis Hoffman, 63, was killed in this incident.

All three fires were determined to be accidental.

The State Fire Marshal's Office wants to remind residents of the importance of installing and maintaining fire alarms. They say numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that the early detection of a fire dramatically increases the chances of escape. The office sponsors Operation Save a Life, an initiative for provide low-income residents with smoke alarms free of charge.

Those interested in having a fire alarm installed for free should contact their nearest fire department.

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