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Two-alarm fire damages 6 homes on two streets in New Orleans East

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 6:05 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A two-alarm fire fanned by gusty winds damaged six homes in a New Orleans East neighborhood early Monday (Jan. 3), the New Orleans Fire Department said.

No residents or firefighters were reported injured in the fire that began in the 7600 block of Shorewood Boulevard and spread to the 7500 block of Avon Park Boulevard. But one elderly man’s dog could not be evacuated from a burning home before perishing in the fire, the NOFD said, and a second fire victim said she also lost a family dog in the blaze.

The fire began at approximately 3:12 a.m. in a large home still under construction on Shorewood Boulevard. Strong, swirling winds quickly spread flames from that property to other homes to the left, right and rear, the NOFD said.

The unoccupied house where the fire originated was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived at 3:16 a.m., and was completely destroyed. Five residents in the house to its left safely evacuated their burning home, which suffered significant damage.

“I woke up around 3:15 because I felt the heat,” said Dionne Hale, who lost her family home and a pet but managed to evacuate her children and grandchild safely. “When I ran out of the house, I could feel the fire just popping on me.

“My mom’s dog, I lost her. I lost everything. ... If anyone can help donate anything to my family, I would be so thankful.”

Hale said the family lost its clothing, possessions and diapers for her 1-year-old granddaughter.

A property being renovated on the other side of the first burning house also was significantly damaged, but was unoccupied, the NOFD said.

Flames from the original burning house also spread to the street behind it, igniting three homes in the 7500 block of Avon Park Boulevard. Two of these houses also were empty, but one was occupied by an elderly man who evacuated safely but could not rescue his dog, according to NOFD spokesman Capt. Edwin Holmes.

Holmes said 45 firefighters from 15 NOFD units brought the fire under control at 4:47 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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