POSTED: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 11:30am
UPDATED: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 3:30pm
ST. AMANT, LA (NBC33) — The home of an elderly man was completely destroyed by a fire this morning.
The St. Amant Fire Department responded to the call at around 4:30 a.m. When firefighters arrived to the home on Brignac Road, it was completely engulfed in flames.
Heather Decoteau is the elderly man's granddaughter and lives on the same property. She said he husband woke her before 4:30 Friday morning after hearing the sound of her grandfather's oxygen tanks exploding.
"He said, 'Your pawpaw's house is burning down!' And I just saw flames coming from the roof," Decoteau recalled.
Decoteau said he husband ran out of their home and tried to save her grandfather, but was pushed back by the intensity of the fire.
" He (my husband) tried to break in to the bedroom window to get him out the house, but he couldn't even see. because of all the smoke," she added.
The 84-year-old resident of the home managed to escape unharmed, but was forced to crawl out of the home, feeling his way along the wall. He was also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Fire investigators have said they believe a pan of forgotten sweet potatoes is to blame for the blaze.
"My opinion is that the grease started the fire and he was awakened by the oxygen bottles going off and he was able to get out safely, " Derek LeBlanc, assistant fire chief, explained.
The house is being listed as a total loss.