[StBernard] Firefighter Loses Home After Christmas Tree Catches Fire

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Dec 16 08:27:34 EST 2011

Firefighter Loses Home After Christmas Tree Catches Fire

Cat Stole Christmas From Colleague's Family, Fire Chief Says

POSTED: 5:08 pm CST December 15, 2011

UPDATED: 5:52 pm CST December 15, 2011

CHALMETTE, La. -- Firefighters in St. Bernard Parish are seeking the
public's help to give a colleague's family a merry Christmas after they lost
their house in a raging blaze.

Firefighter Earl Borden Jr. and his family were left with rubble after their
Christmas tree caught fire more than a week before the holiday. Borden said
he was taking a shower when the fire started.

"I smelled smoke. The black smoke was below my waist. I didn't have a chance
to do anything," Borden said. "I dropped and went to the nearest window,
ripped off the blinds, opened the window and hopped out."

Borden's girlfriend and child were not home at the time.

"They just left 15 minutes prior (to the fire). I don't know what I would
have done if they were here," Borden said.

Fire crews said initial reports show that the fire started in the Christmas

"We suspect the cat played in the tree and knocked it over," said St.
Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone. "We're calling it the cat that stole

Borden had working smoke detectors and safety features in place after
experiencing the same incident years ago, the fire chief said.

"This is the first time in my 33 years (that) I can remember a member having
a fire in his home. Six years ago, he lost everything. Here, it's the same
thing," Stone said.

The fire chief said residents should always make sure that trees are
watered, candles are blown out and to use power strips and surge protectors
when using decorative lights.

"Some people panic. He didn't, but it goes to show how quick a fire goes up
with tree, (even if) you have a trained firefighter home," Stone said.

Anyone interested in making a donation is asked to call the St. Bernard
Parish Fire Department at 504-278-4275 .

Read more: http://www.wdsu.com/news/30008013/detail.html#ixzz1ghhhBBZp

More information about the StBernard mailing list