91-year-old loses home in fire; New Roads community steps in

91-year-old former teacher Mildred Duhe is without a home after devastation struck in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 7:03 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2023 at 6:56 AM CST
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NEW ROADS, La. (WAFB) - Mildred Duhé, a 91-year-old former teacher, is without a home after devastation struck in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Mildred Duhé Birthday.
Mildred Duhé Birthday.(Duhé Family)

Flames engulfed their home in New Roads. Now, the Duhé family is left picking up the pieces as 54 years’ worth of memories is left in ashes.

“I heard a crackling sound. I thought it was someone shooting in my house, so I got all nervous and excited. When I looked out, the fire took over that area,” said Duhé .

Duhé stood in her front yard with her grandchildren on Fat Tuesday. It was supposed to be a day of parades and celebration. Instead, it was another day without their home.

“I came here and saw it….it’s just unbelievable,” stated her grandson Jarvis who traveled all the way from Atlanta to be with the family.

Duhé watched her home go up in flames last Monday. It was a family heirloom built by her husband in 1969.

“After you’ve lost your loved ones, their faces disappear from you and that [house] is the thing that keeps me going every day,” she explained.

Mildred Duhé wedding photo.
Mildred Duhé wedding photo.(Duhé Family)

Around 6 p.m., Duhé and her son escaped the flames. A blaze and smoke were seen emerging from the carport and overtaking the house.

Duhé said, “Everything inside was gone except that little prayer check I’m telling you–that’s the only thing that was there.”

The beloved former teacher taught for 35 years, even through desegregation. She’s touched hundreds of lives and opened her doors to anyone who needed it, including her foster children.

“She had two little girls, running around her house at 60 years old. She took us in and raised us and gave us all she had,” expressed great niece and foster child, Lshae James.

The fire cut through their home along with the neighbor’s house. What caused the electric fire is still under investigation. For now, Mildred will be living with her longtime neighbor.

“It’ll be a time when I need to get out and go somewhere—rent a house or something,” said Duhé .

“I don’t know where we are going from here, but at least we have each other,” added her grandson.

The community is hosting a donation drive for the Duhé family Wed., Feb. 22. If you would like to stop by and show your support. It’ll be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Augustine Catholic Church, in New Roads.

The family of Mildred Duhé also set up a GoFund account. Click here to donate.

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