(KLFY) — “I’m sad to report this is one chimney that Santa will not be climbing down tonight, but the fire department said it would have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for one phone call.” says Lafayette Fire spokesman Alton Trahan.
The charred remains of a chimney are proof what the rest of this home would look like without the help of the Lafayette Fire Department.
Spokesman Alton Trahan said the fire was first reported to 911 around midnight by a stranger who was passing by and noticed the flames.
“Yeah, that was very important, particularly at that time in the morning, to have somebody who noticed the flames and make the emergency call as quick as possible.” says Trahan.
Von Tisdale is staying next door while visiting family for the holidays. She heard the fire before she saw it.
“I kept hearing this popping noise, and I couldn’t figure out why it sounded like it was sleeting” says Tisdale.
Her mother’s neighbor for 15 years was still in the home.
“His girlfriend was screaming, beating the door to get him to come out, and then he came out, and the fire truck got here a couple minutes later.” Tisdale said it felt like an hour, but firefighters put out the fire within ten minutes.
The inside of the home is mostly in tact, apart from smoke and water damage. A few minutes more, and the fire could have gotten into the attic and spread to joined townhouses.
“Anytime a fire is going to burn 15-20 minutes unnoticed like that, it’s will pretty cause substantial damage to the home, in particularly once it gets out of that chase or fireplace and gets into the attic.” says Trahan. “These houses are just all wood. I’m surprised that it didn’t spread.”
Overall, Tisdale is thankful and hopes her neighbor still experiences Christmas cheer.
“I did wish him a Merry Christmas. I said, ‘I’m very sorry about your circumstances, but still try to have a Merry Christmas.” says Tisdale.
“A salvaging company was out here to access some of the damage and board up between the house and the chimney. They will be back after the Christmas holiday to finish the job.” says Tisdale.