OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Officials with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office have announced that a house fire over the weekend in West Monroe claimed the life of a 69-year-old man and his dog.

Per the release, the Ouachita Parish Fire Department responded to a residential fire on the 100 block of Highway 3033 on Sunday January 2 shortly after 11:15 p.m.

During the investigation, officials discovered that the victim initially escaped the fire, but re-entered the home to save his dog. Authorities later located the man’s remains in the living room, and the dog’s remains in a bedroom.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is believed to have started in the carport area outside the home.

Authorities have not identified the identification of the victim, but they do stress the importance of exiting a burning home as fast as possible, and not re-entering.

“The goal is first to do whatever you can to prevent fire,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “But if you experience fire, the priority is getting out safely. Possessions can be purchased again. Life cannot.”

Authorities with the SFM have announced that this is the first fire fatality of 2022.