May 12, 2007
May 10, 2007
No smoke detectors in fatal house fire
By Michelle Hunters
An Old Jefferson couple and their teenage daughter were killed in an early morning fire that destroyed their house. A teen-age son survived.
Firefighters said they found no smoke detectors in the house at 204 Coolidge St., one block east of Ochsner Medical Center.
Neighbors identified the victims as Michael Owens, 44; his wife, Lisa, 41, and their daughter, Katie, 15. A son, known to friends as Mikey, 13, escaped by jumping from a first-floor window and was admitted to Ochsner for smoke inhalation and cuts.
Officials from the East Bank Consolidated Fire Department said they learned of the fire about 4:30 a.m. It took firefighters almost an hour to douse the two-alarm blaze.
they arrived on scene, firefighters found flames fully engulfing the
house, said George Rigamer, spokesman for the department. They broke
through the front door after neighbors confirmed the rest of the family
was still inside.
Firefighters found Michael Owens' body in the front
hallway near the door, he said. Katie Owens was in a room to the right of the hall, and Lisa Owens' body was found in her upstairs bedroom
The cause of the fire was still unknown. Investigators from the East Bank Consolidated department and the state fire marshal's office were sifting through the rubble about 8:30 a.m.
The backside of the house was destroyed, with only the blackened wood frame visible. The vinyl siding on the house had melted, and the grass in the backyard was singed from the heat.
Neighbors said Michael Owens was a landscaper and Lisa a homemaker. Katie was a freshman at St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans. Mikey is enrolled at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Old Metairie.