Sheriff’s Office: St. Tammany fire chief’s wife was shot before burning in house fire

LACOMBE, La. — The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of Nanette Krentel after an autopsy revealed her death was not caused by the fire that engulfed her Lacombe-area home late last week.

Krentel was the wife of St. Tammany Fire District 12 Chief Stephen Krentel.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 14, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home at 29500 Philip Smith Road in Lacombe. Fire personnel from several fire districts and representatives from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office were also dispatched to the home, which was fully engulfed in flames when the first units arrived.

After extinguishing the fire, a badly burned body was located inside the residence. The body was immediately turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, who conducted an autopsy.

The St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office used DNA to positively identify the body. The autopsy also revealed a gunshot wound and determined that her death was not caused by the fire.

Detectives with the STPSO Major Crimes Unit are working the death investigation, which remains ongoing.

The fire investigation is being handled by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this tragic time,” Sheriff Randy Smith said, “and I want to reassure them that we are diligently working on this case and our detectives will continue to work until we have all of the answers.”

If you have information about this case, please call Detective Daniel Buckner at 985-898-2338.

No further details will be released at this time.