GRETNA, La. (WWL) – Multiple agencies are investigating an overnight fire that damaged two duplexes in Gretna early Sunday morning.
According to David Crockett Fire Department Chief Mike Labruzza, the fire started at a home in the 2300 block of Lafayette Street around 1:30 a.m.
When firefighters arrived, they said the duplex was engulfed in flames and spread to a home next door.
A grandmother and four children were in the home when the fire broke out, according to Brant Thompson, Louisiana State Fire Marshal Chief Deputy. The woman was able to escape the fire with a four and five-year-old boy, but two eight-year-old twin girls died, said Thompson.
The children were all cousins, and the grandmother lived in the home, officials said.
Neighbors told WWL-TV the children were twins and were visually impaired. A neighbor added that he got out of his home with his girlfriend, but the fire was already so big in his neighbor’s home he couldn’t save the children.
Officials said there were other people in the homes who escaped the fire, but were unsure of the number of people.
Thompson said the fire started in the kitchen area, but the exact cause is currently still under investigation by the Jefferson Parish Fire Department, Louisiana State Fire Marshal and Gretna Police Department.
An autopsy has been scheduled, where Thompson said detectives will be present. Their identities have been withheld pending the autopsy.