The New Orleans Fire Department received a 911 call reporting a fire in a dwelling on Tara Ln. in New Orleans East. The first company arrived on the scene at 11:24 a.m., finding heavy smoke coming from the rear of 6720 Tara Ln, an occupied unit in a row of two-story, wood-framed attached townhouses. Upon arrival the fire had already spread to the second floor of 6722 Tara Ln. through a common attic and rear wall of the two dwellings, prompting a second-alarm at 11:37 a.m. Homes at 6718 and 6724 Tara Ln. received water and smoke damage as the fire attempted to spread through common walls shared by the dwellings. All are occupied dwellings with the residents home at the time of the incident.
Through interviews with the residents at 6720 Tara Lane, it was determined that the fire was caused by two juvenile boys (ages 7 and 4). According to the grandmother and father of the boys, who were both home at the time, the boys had been caught using a lighter to ignite paper and throwing it from their second story bedroom window, accidentally igniting a tarp covering tools and other items on a deck outside the home. The father smelled smoke on the first floor and rushed outside to put the fire out with a hose. Unnoticed by the father and grandmother, the fire had already penetrated the dwelling’s rear wall and began to burn between the brick and dry-wall of the home and also spread to the neighboring townhouses. An employee from a donut-shop across the street noticed smoke coming from the roof of the home and was the first to called 911.
By the time NOFD personnel had arrived, the fire had already reached the attics at 6720 and 6722 Tara Lane. Thirteen NOFD units carrying forty-three suppression personnel were used to bring this incident under control at 12:07 p.m. There were no injuries reported and the cause of the fire is listed as “accidental/kids playing with fire”. The New Orleans Police Department, New Emergency Medical Service and Entergy all participated in the mitigation of this incident. The American Red Cross was also on hand to assist the families displaced by this fire.