LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office have determined that combustible items placed too close to a wood-burning stove caused a fatal residential fire in Lake Charles early Saturday morning.
The fire on the 4000 block of John Koonce Road was reported just after 1 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, said Brant Thompson, chief deputy with the State Fire Marshal's Office.
There were four people in the home at the time of the fire: a woman, her two children - ages four and six - and the woman's 63-year-old mother, Barbara Thomson, who was visiting her daughter, said Brant Thompson.
Firefighters found the home fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. After entering the home, firefighters found the body of Barbara Thomson upstairs.
Thomson's body has been released to the Calcasieu Parish coroner for an autopsy.
Thomson's daughter told Fire Marshal deputies that she'd added more wood to her wood-burning stove, located downstairs, just before going to sleep late Friday night.
Extra wood pieces placed near the stove ignited, starting the fire, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.
The woman was transported to an area hospital for treatment of moderate-to-severe burns, which she suffered while removing her two sons from the burning home.
The 6-year-old underwent treatment for minor burns and was released. The 4-year-old was uninjured.
The two-story, wood-framed home did not have working smoke alarms, and was destroyed by the fire, said Thompson.
The Ward 1 Fire Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office also responded to the fire.
Since Dec. 15, 2017, the State Fire Marshal's Office has responded to 13 calls of fires involving fatalities across the state. Out of those 13 calls, 22 lives were lost, said Thompson.
The Fire Marshal's Office investigated just over 60 fire fatalities in 2017.