LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A 65-year-old woman and most of her pets were killed in a house fire early Monday morning in Lafayette. The woman has been identified as Madeline McQuade.
The fire started in the 100 block of Palmetto Drive at around 1 a.m.
The Lafayette Fire Department says that the fire was brought under control within fifteen minutes, and investigators determined that the fire started from a chair in the living room, and a cigarette was the heat source of the blaze.
“I was woken by lights at 2 o’clock in the morning, and I came outside to see what was going on. A lot of fire trucks, police, and they were basically trying to get out the fire,” said Virginia Campbell, a neighbor of McQuade.
Neighbors awoke to flashing lights and sirens coming from the home early Monday Monday.
“I walked out the road and saw a bunch of policeman. They went inside the house and around the house, later on the fire truck came, and the firemen also checked out the house,” said Alfredo Vellos.
According to investigators, McQuade managed to call 911 when she saw heavy smoke coming from her living room. When the firefighters and paramedics arrived, they pulled her from her home and tried to revive her. Then took her to a hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
“It’s crazy, because I was just up at 12:30, and then went and laid down and woke up to everyone out here, so it’s crazy how fast a fire can start,” said Savanah Vila, who lives next door to the victim.
As a cigarette smoker, she says its important to always put your cigarettes out after smoking them.
“Don’t fall asleep with them burning in the house, or anything like that. Make sure to find a trash can and make sure they’re put out completely,” said Vila.
Neighbors tell News 10 that McQuade kept to herself, and that she would often be inside of her home with her pets.
Three out of four of those pets died as a result of the fire. The one dog that survived, was picked up by the victim’s family Monday afternoon.