ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An 86-year-old St. Martin Parish man who died in a fire on his property late Saturday night is believed to be the first to have died as a result of Hurricane Delta.
According to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, it happened at the man’s home in St. Martinville.
Investigators say the homeowner had a running generator in his shed. When he discovered it was out of fuel, it is believed he refueled it while still hot. Shortly after refueling, the shed was discovered on fire.
It is believed the homeowner went into the shed in an attempt to put out the fire but never reemerged. His body was found inside the shed.
It’s a stark reminder that the threat from these storms does not pass once the storms are gone. Most of the 32 deaths came in the days following Laura were the result of heat-related illness, carbon monoxide poisoning and fires caused by generators, and traumatic incidents while working on roofs and clearing debris.
The LOSFM offers these generator safety tips:
- DON’T place a generator inside of ANY structure
- DON’T place a generator near open doors and/windows (20 ft away from the home is ideal)
- DON’T refuel a generator when hot