Thirty people were left without a home Wednesday evening after a fire on Cambronne Street in a building that the New Orleans Fire Department said lacked a working smoke alarm, authorities said.
The building at 3521 Cambronne caught fire shortly after 6:30 p.m., and took nearly an hour for firefighters to bring under control, according to a NOFD news release:
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 6:37 p.m. the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) received a 9-1-1 call reporting a residential fire in the 3500 block of Cambronne St. Dispatched at 6:37 p.m., the first NOFD company arrived on the scene of 3521 Cambronne St. at 6:42 p.m. and found heavy smoke and fire already through the roof of an occupied two-story, wood-framed four-plex.
Upon arrival firefighters immediately began a primary search of the uninvolved parts of the structure. Taking into account the occupancy of the structure and the level of involvement upon arrival, a second-alarm was called in at 6:50 p.m. It was determined through interviewing residents that everyone was accounted for and had escaped safely. Upon realizing everyone was out and observing the imminent collapse of the building’s roof, firefighters transitioned into defensive fire ground tactics. Fire Operations Command personnel decided to “surround and drown” the fire, applying copious amounts of water from all sides, even incorporating a ladder truck’s aerial to saturate what remained of the roof from above.
In all thirteen NOFD units carrying thirty-nine Fire Operations personnel were used to bring this incident under control at 7:25 p.m. Although the cause of the fire has yet to be determined and is still under investigation, the fire is believed to have begun somewhere on the second floor. Four families, totaling 30 people in all (12 adults and 18 kids), were displaced by this fire. Thankfully there were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported during the mitigation of this incident. The American Red Cross was dispatched to assist all those displace with their immediate housing and clothing needs.
Although everyone escaped safely, it must be noted that there were no working smoke alarms in this four-plex. In all probability this may have contributed to a delayed detection and may explain the fire’s intensity upon NOFD arrival. The New Orleans Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to once again relay this important public safety message. WE SUPPLY AND INSTALL 10YR SMOKE ALARMS FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL RESIDENTS OF ORLEANNS PARISH. Our goal is to make sure every home and every family in the City of New Orleans is protected. All residents in need of smoke alarms are urged to call the New Orleans Fire Department at 504-658-4714 or make your request online at www.nola.gov/nofd.