Wednesday morning, March 27, 2013 a neighbor in the 2000 block of Josephine St forced entry into a unit of a one-story shotgun double at 2004-06 Josephine St. to save eight toddlers, approximate ages 3-5. Dispatched at 9:23 am, the first New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) companies arrived on the scene at 9:26 am to find a fire that had extended from a bedroom where it began, to the kitchen of the home at 2004 Josephine St. A second alarm was struck at 9:38 am when firefighters realized that the fire had extended out of the kitchen window and spread to a two-unit apartment building in the rear left of the original fire building, damaging both apartments. The two-unit apartment building located at 2109 A-B Daneel St. had recently been renovated with one unit occupied and the resident not at home at the time. The neighboring unit at 2006 Josephine received limited fire, smoke and water damage.
Initially NOFD personnel were unaware that kids had been in the home. After interviewing neighbors in the area, the District Chief and Fire Captains on scene were able to piece together the details of the incident. Neighbors helped fire personnel locate the kids, who had been brought out of the cold into the home of one of the neighbors. Several of the children stated to fire investigators that one of the boys had been playing with fire, in the bedroom where they all were, and set fire to a mattress. The New Orleans Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services were called to the scene to investigate condition and custody of the eight children.
Thirteen NOFD units, carrying 43 fire personnel were used to bring this incident under control at 9:53 am. Three families left displaced by this fire are being assisted by the American Red Cross. New Orleans Emergency Medical Services and Entergy also responded to assist in the mitigation of this incident.
1st alarm: 9:23 am
On scene: 9:26 am
2nd alarm: 9:38 am
Under control: 9:53 am
Injuries: None reported
Cause: kids playing with fire