Nov 29, 2010 7:31 PM by Melissa Hawkes
The Lafayette Fire Department is investigating possible faulty fire extinguishers after eight town homes in Carencro were destroyed on Thanksgiving day.
Residents said the fire started in a 2001 Ford F-150 that was parked underneath a car port. The flames spread quickly destroying everything in its path.
Ashley Robertson lived in one of the townhouses.
She said, "once the smoke and the fire dissipated. I really broke down because that's when I really saw the damages."
Robertson said her family never even heard the shrill warning of a smoke alarm.
She said, "by the time we got out, my husband saw smoke coming from the vents and the smoke detectors were still not going off."
Residents said they tried to use multiple fire extinguishers, but they didn't work.
A spokesperson from the Lafayette Fire Department, Alton Trahan said, it's up to the owner of the complex to have annual tests performed on all fire extinguishers.
Robertson says in the two years of living there, she's never seen any type of inspection performed. Trahan says even if the fire extinguishers had been working, they likely would not have stopped the flames.
He explained, "once that vehicle was fully involved. It was coming from the interior of the truck. The fire extinguisher alone wouldn't have been able to put the fire out, had it been that big."
But Robertson said she feels the extinguishers could have at least helped control the fire, which may have have saved her family's home.
Fire officials spoke with the owner of the townhouses. Larry Latiolais claims the fire extinguishers were last inspected in February. If the owner is found at fault, the occupants could pursue a civil case for damages.
Officials are also investigating whether or not the Ford truck was on a recall list.