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Fourth fire burns at abandoned Lake Charles apartment complex

Firefighers have responded to four fires at the complex since it was abandoned after Hurricane Laura
Last night around 5 p.m., Lake Charles Fire Department responded to a fire at the Place Vendome...
Last night around 5 p.m., Lake Charles Fire Department responded to a fire at the Place Vendome Apartments on Prejan Rd. off 5th street. That was the fourth fire they have put out at those apartments since they were abandoned after Hurricane Laura.
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Fire Department responded to a fire at the Place Vendome Apartments on Prejan Rd. off 5th street Sunday night around 5 p.m. That was the fourth fire they’ve had put out at these apartments since they were abandoned after Hurricane Laura.

The first fire was on Nov. 22, 2020, the second on May 24, 2021, and the third on June 1, 2021.

Captain Jeremy Leblanc with Lake Charles Fire Prevention Bureau has been working to investigate the string of fires.

“We had a total of nine units respond to this fire last night. No firemen were injured, yet this is a place that we should not be responding to,” Leblanc said.

The apartment was damaged in the hurricane and never re-opened to residents. It is without electricity and running water and is not safe for anyone to be living in. It also has a fence around the property meant to keep people out for their own safety.

“These buildings currently are condemned. Nobody should be in there. It is fenced in. Individuals are still finding their way in there whenever they’re not supposed to be in there,” Leblanc said.

The hurricanes damaged or demolished many structures in Lake Charles, increasing the number of local vacant buildings. Leblanc emphasized that these buildings are vacant or condemned for a reason and should not be inhabited by anyone.

“Due to the fact that there are people left without homes due to the hurricanes, individuals are finding themselves in places where they should not be. If the apartments or any buildings are condemned and vacant, you’re not supposed to be there. Do not go there,” Leblanc said.

Authorities are still investigating all four of the fires, but Leblanc said they know this most recent fire was not of natural causes.

Leblanc adds if any neighbors or anybody in the Lake Area has any information regarding the fires at Place Vendome to please give that information to the investigators.

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