Woman dies in house fire

Published 1:12 am Saturday, January 9, 2016

Unsafe smoking practices may have caused a fire that severely damaged a residence in Franklinton on Tuesday morning, where the discovery of a woman’s body by firefighters prompted officials to request assistance from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, firefighters from the Franklinton Fire Department responded to the residential fire at 1401 Green St., shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Upon entering the wood-framed structure, which had no smoke alarms at the time of the fire, firefighters found the lifeless body of a woman in the master bedroom.

After being examined by State Fire Marshal investigators, the body was released to the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office for an autopsy. Preliminary indications are that the victim died as a result of smoke inhalation.

While a positive identification of the victim has not been made, investigators believe the body to be that of 47-year-old Livia Rodrigues, whose family members told investigators that Rodrigues was the sole occupant of the home. Investigators also learned that Rodrigues’ general health was poor and her mobility had been greatly diminished after she suffered a stroke in April 2015.

Investigators have determined that the fire began in the bedroom, where a significant amount of used smoking materials and residue were located next to a bed.

The investigation into this deadly fire remains active, State Fire Marshal investigators said.