Large fire spreads from abandoned home to 2-story duplex in New Orleans

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 5:56 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A large fire destroyed two homes early Tuesday (July 19) morning near Central City New Orleans.

Officials with the New Orleans Fire Department say the fire began around 2:30 a.m. at a small, possibly abandoned home on First Street and spread to a large two-story at the intersection of Baronne Street.

As of 5:30 a.m., firefighters had extinguished most of the visible flames, leaving billowing smoke. The roof partially collapsed, a spokesperson says.

“I never thought this would happen to me. Especially in New Orleans, I would’ve thought a hurricane would’ve taken us out instead of a fire,” Mary Ekersom said.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

“She woke me up banging on our door at 2:30 in the morning,” Olivia Houston says. “She said our house is burning down so I just got up, got the dogs and I ran outside and everything was just in flames. It was terrible.”

Andrew Feldman, the duplex’s owner, says the building is over 100 years old. He also claims to have contacted the city about the abandoned house next door for at least a decade.

“Now my house is burning down,” Feldman says. “I put a lot of work to restore that house. It’s over a hundred years old. It’s a piece of New Orleans history. It was a beautiful house and probably won’t be salvageable.”

Seven of Feldman’s eight tenants are accounted for, he says. The eighth tenant’s car was not around and Feldman believes they could be asleep at a friend’s.

Firefighters say a power line snapped and fell on First Street. Entergy says around 82 customers are without power in the area.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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