A Covington-area home was heavily damaged by fire Thursday morning, and responding units from St. Tammany Fire District No. 12 were hampered in their response by large trees and other plants that made finding and accessing the home more difficult
At 11 minutes after midnight on Thursday morning, a woman called to report her home at 76460 Hwy. 1081 was on fire. The woman and her two adult sons were sleeping and were awakened by the smell of smoke. There was no smoke detector in the residence. All three occupants escaped without injury.
FD12 personnel arrived at the scene at 12:20 a.m. – 8 ½ minutes after the call. Arrival was delayed because the narrow driveway was bordered by a great deal of plant life; locating the entrance to the property and navigating fire response apparatus to the scene was somewhat difficult.
The fire was under control approximately 10 minutes after arrival, thanks to the efforts of 16 firefighters. Investigators believe the blaze was caused by improperly discarded smoking material.
The Red Cross was notified to assist the family.
“We’re glad this family escaped safely from the home, and there are lessons to be learned from this event,” said FD12 Chief Darrell Guilott. “Every home should have a smoke detector. The lack of one at this house could’ve allowed the fire to burn even longer and could have resulted in serious injury or death. Natural features that enhance the appearance of a home can also be dangerous. While lots of greenery for privacy or just for looks can a nice feature for a home, consider that obscuring your property or entryways can cost emergency responders valuable time, leading to greater damage or injury.”
For more information, visit www.fd12.org, or find Fire District 12 on Facebook.