Ragley fire update: smoke detectors apparently didn't work - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Ragley fire update: smoke detectors apparently didn't work

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - The Louisiana State Fire Marshal has concluded that there were no working smoke detectors in the home in Ragley where four little girls died in a fire on May 11, and they may never know what started the fire.

It's been more than three months since the tragic fire in which four little girls of the LeBleu family perished. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they believe the fire started in the kitchen, but it's not clear what caused it and there are a number of accidental causes they cannot rule out.

"We believe the fire did start in the kitchen in a high level. Course there were a tremendous amount of electrical wiring because in that area is mainly where the distribution of electricity goes out throughout the entire manufactured home, so at this point we've taken all the evidence we can from the scene and the statements and we can't pinpoint an exact cause," said Browning.

The mother, Amy LeBleu, rescued her three-year-old son, however she was not successful when she tried to save her four daughters. Browning says neither Mrs. LeBleu or others at the scene remember hearing smoke detectors go off. Three smoke detectors found in the rubble did not have nine volt batteries inside, nor were investigators able to locate batteries on the floor.

Browning says they do not believe there were working smoke detectors in the mobile home. "We don't believe smoke detectors activated. We believe some of the smoke detectors were missing batteries. That would explain why the mother woke up to smoke and not an alarm and of course when the first responders arrived they didn't hear an alarm."

Browning says if there's something others can learn from the tragedy, it's to be vigilant when it comes to making sure there are working smoke detectors in your home.

So, at this point the investigation is closed as an undetermined fire that appears to have started in the kitchen, and they are unable to rule out various accidental causes.

Browning says every fire death in the state in the last two years occurred in homes without working smoke detectors.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Cold front arrives tonight with storms possible, lower humidity the next few days

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Cold front arrives tonight with storms possible, lower humidity the next few days

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-05-24 03:43:46 GMT
    Less humid Wednesday!Less humid Wednesday!

    A cold front will move through Southwest Louisiana late Tuesday or early Wednesday.  This will bring noticeably drier air back to our area and that means we get a break from the humidity!  But it will also bring scattered showers and thunderstorms tonight.  The timing looks to be between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Wednesday.  The risk of severe weather is very low, but like last night, it is not zero!

    More >>

    A cold front will move through Southwest Louisiana late Tuesday or early Wednesday.  This will bring noticeably drier air back to our area and that means we get a break from the humidity!  But it will also bring scattered showers and thunderstorms tonight.  The timing looks to be between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Wednesday.  The risk of severe weather is very low, but like last night, it is not zero!

    More >>
  • Another cost increase for Prien Lake Elementary project

    Another cost increase for Prien Lake Elementary project

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 10:59 PM EDT2017-05-24 02:59:12 GMT
    (Source: www.gator995.com)(Source: www.gator995.com)

    It will take yet another chunk of tax dollars to complete a road and canopy at Prien Lake Elementary in Lake Charles. The student pick-up/drop-off area is needed to improve traffic congestion on Nelson Road. However, Calcasieu Parish taxpayers are on the hook for an additional $33,153 because of dirt issues. 

    More >>

    It will take yet another chunk of tax dollars to complete a road and canopy at Prien Lake Elementary in Lake Charles. The student pick-up/drop-off area is needed to improve traffic congestion on Nelson Road. However, Calcasieu Parish taxpayers are on the hook for an additional $33,153 because of dirt issues. 

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Gage Meche recovering after second surgery

    UPDATE: Gage Meche recovering after second surgery

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 10:58 PM EDT2017-05-24 02:58:17 GMT
    Gage Meche (Source: Facebook)Gage Meche (Source: Facebook)

    The 7-year-old shot at an elementary school in Moss Bluff is undergoing surgery again. “Complications have arisen and Gage Meche is back in surgery," family attorney Ron Richard said. "The family asks for prayers.” The family announced Monday on the Facebook page Gage's Road to Recovery that he was brought to the ER in Lafayette due to complications. After the accidental shooting on Monday, May 15, Gage returned home from the hospital on Saturday. The shootin...

    More >>

    The 7-year-old shot at an elementary school in Moss Bluff is undergoing surgery again. “Complications have arisen and Gage Meche is back in surgery," family attorney Ron Richard said. "The family asks for prayers.” The family announced Monday on the Facebook page Gage's Road to Recovery that he was brought to the ER in Lafayette due to complications. After the accidental shooting on Monday, May 15, Gage returned home from the hospital on Saturday. The shootin...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly