New Orleans, LA. – Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm, the New Orleans Fire Department received a 911 call from a 13 year old child who said he was playing with a lighter and the house was now on fire. The 13 year old called from 3715 North Robertson, he was in the bathroom which is in the center of the home, saying his bedroom was on fire where the fire started. At 4:42 pm, as firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a one story, wood frame shotgun double with heavy black smoke and fire coming from the front window and three of the side windows. As one crew of firefighters fought the intense flames in the front to gain entry into the residence to start their search and rescue, a second crew went to the rear of the home. At 4:45pm the child was making a second call from the kitchen. The child dropped the phone and screamed he was trapped as he saw the approaching firefighters.
The child was able to open the wooden door but was trapped in the kitchen because he did not have or could not find the key to the bars on the kitchen door. There were bars on all of the windows and door of the home. Firefighters removed the bars over the door and rescued the child. The side where the fire started was totally destroyed, the other side, 3717 North Robertson sustained smoke and water damage. EMS checked and released him on the scene.
Seven NOFD units, carrying 18 fire personnel were used to complete this rescue and suppression effort in saving this life. The incident was placed under control at 4:58 p.m. The family was left displaced by this fire and is being assisted by the American Red Cross. The New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services and Entergy also responded to assist in the mitigation of this incident.
Rec’d call: 4:37
1st alarm: 4:38
On scene: 4:42
13 year old rescued at 4:50 pm
Under control: 4:58
Cause: child playing with lighter