Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – The Lake Charles Fire Department responded to a fire at the Place Vendome apartments on Prejan Rd. Off 5th Street on Sunday night around 5 p.m. It was the fourth fire they have put out in these apartments since they were abandoned after Hurricane Laura.
The first fire occurred on November 22, 2020, the second on May 24, 2021 and the third on June 1, 2021.
Captain Jeremy Leblanc of the Lake Charles Fire Prevention Office is working to investigate the series of fires.
“We had a total of nine units that responded to this fire last night. No firefighter was injured, but it’s a place we shouldn’t intervene, ”said Leblanc.
The apartment was damaged by the hurricane and never reopened to residents. There is no electricity or running water and is not safe for anyone to live there. There is also a fence around the property intended to prevent people from entering for their own safety.
“These buildings are currently condemned. No one should be in there. It’s closed. People hang out there when they’re not supposed to be there, ”said Leblanc.
Hurricanes damaged or demolished many structures in Lake Charles, increasing the number of local vacant buildings. Leblanc stressed that these buildings are vacant or condemned for a reason and should not be inhabited by anyone.
“Due to the fact that there are people homeless from hurricanes, people are ending up in places where they shouldn’t be. If the apartments or buildings are condemned and vacant, you are not supposed to be there. Don’t go there, ”Leblanc said.
Authorities are still investigating the four fires, but Leblanc said they know the latest blaze was not of natural cause.
Leblanc adds that if neighbors or someone in the lake area have any information regarding the Place Vendôme fires, please give it to investigators.
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