Covering Louisiana

Jan 22, 2014 5:28 PM by MELISSA CANONE

Outdoor Fire Claims Life in Washington Parish

Just hours after the State Fire Marshal issued an outdoor burn advisory, investigators were called upon to investigate an out of control fire in Washington Parish that claimed the life of a 63-year-old man. The advisory was a statewide alert.

According to a state fire marshal press release, at approximately 4:00 pm. yesterday, Franklinton firefighters were dispatched to 47102 Eldredge Magee Road. Upon their arrival, firefighters found several piles of debris burning in the yard. The body of 63 year old Alvin Brumfield, the resident of the home, was found deceased in the yard. State Fire Marshal Investigators were called upon to assist Franklinton officials with determining the cause of this deadly fire.

Neighbors told investigators Brumfield was seen raking leaves in his yard about 15 minutes before the out of control fire was reported. Those witnesses reported that the fire appeared to be advancing in the direction of Brumfield's home. Investigators believe Brumfield, who had limited mobility, was attempting a control burn of debris when the fire grew out of control. Evidence found at the scene leads investigators to believe the victim's clothing caught fire causing his fatal injuries. An autopsy planned for today should provide investigators with a more precise cause of death. The investigation remains active at this time.

The State Fire Marshal's Office stopped short of a statewide burn ban earlier this week, but urged all Louisiana citizens to exercise caution when setting outdoor fires. The dry conditions across the state, coupled with recent windy conditions have led to a significant number of fires burning out of control. The State Fire Marshal's Office is recommending that citizens delay debris burning until the state has seen significant precipitation and even then, extra precaution should be taken during windy conditions.


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