Elderly man in wheelchair killed in Central City three alarm fire

Man in wheelchair killed in Central City three alarm fire

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An elderly man in a wheelchair was killed in a three-alarm fire early Thursday morning in Central City, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.

The man was identified by family members as Robert Rodger Clay. His age was not available.

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. in the 2300 block of South Prieur Street.

Two people were in the building when the fire began, but the elderly man was unable to escape.

New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Timothy McConnell said the fire was reported by an EMS unit in the area and crews responded within three minutes.

McConnell said the fire was too heavy when crews arrived to save the victim, who he described as an elderly man confined to a wheelchair.

McConnell said there were conflicting reports about how many people were living in the house. But that a caretaker for the deceased man has provided officials with information about the living arrangements in the house.

"We believe everybody is out, but until we complete the search, we won't know," McConnell said.

McConnell said officials have yet to determine the cause of the fire. But the house had no electricity service and a candle may have been involved.

McConnell said investigators are looking in to the possibility that wires from other homes may have been running into the house.

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