Saturday fire destroyed all Talbot St. family’s belongings

Talbot Street home fire

Shortly after noon Saturday the St. Mary Parish 911 call center was flooded with calls reporting a house fire at 203 Talbot St. in Franklin.
The Franklin Fire Department arrived within 2 minutes to find a home owned by Patrick Milton engulfed in flames. The 10 responding Franklin firefighters were assisted with members and apparatus from the Baldwin, Chitimacha, Centerville and Fire District 11 departments.
Fire Chief Chuck Bourgeois said that about 50 percent of the structure, including the attic area, was involved in fire upon arrival. Firefighters aggressively knocked the main body of the fire down within a few minutes, he said.
When automatic aid departments arrived they were able to enter the residence and extinguish the fire. The fire was declared under control at 12:28 p.m., some 22 minutes after the first unit arrived on the scene.
The home was a total loss. Chief Bourgeois said most of the structure remained intact, but the fire, heat and smoke destroyed all of the contents and caused extensive structural damage.
The family had left the home earlier in the morning and were notified by neighbors that the house was on fire. Once Milton returned he realized that the only thing his family had left was the clothing on their backs, Bourgeois said.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal was called to assist in the investigation. It was determined that the fire started in a rear bedroom near a bed. The most likely cause is overheated electrical supply cord to a window air conditioning unit.
Bourgeois urged residents not to use extension cords to power window air conditioning units and to have operational smoke detectors.
The Franklin Fire Department is assisting the family by accepting clothing, furniture, household items and monetary donations at Fire Station No. 1 at 512 First St.
“We are asking the residents of Franklin and the surrounding area to find it within their hearts to help the Milton family in their greatest time of need,” Bourgeois said.
Clothing needed includes the sizes — men’s shirts XL, pants 36-inch, shoes size 10; women’s shirts medium, pants 13/14, shoes size 9; 10-year-old girls’ shirts and pants 14/16, underwear size 10, shoes size 9 women’s; 6-year-old boys’ shirts and pants 5/6, underwear size 4, shoes size 13 children; 4-year-old girls’ shirts and pants 7/8, underwear size 7, shoes size 2 children.
For additional information, contact the Franklin Fire Department at 337-828-6328.

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