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Generator fire displaces families from two homes in Harvey

Firefighters say the fire that badly damaged two neighboring homes started on a generator they say was too close to the buildings.

HARVEY, La. — The Harvey Volunteer Fire Department said it responded to two homes that were in flames after a generator between the two caught fire late Monday night on Sandalwood Drive.

There were no reports of injuries by the two homes were badly damaged and two families were displaced.

According to Richard Parker of the Harvey Volunteer Fire Department, the unit got a call of a structure fire and arrived on the scene quickly but the fire had already spread to the attic of both buildings.

The fire was so involved that additional support was needed by the Terrytown Fifth District Fire Company and the Davey Crockett Fire Company. It took two and a half hours to completely extinguish the blaze.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, officials have emphasized generator safety as almost all of the New Orleans metro area is without power and generators are in widespread use.

State officials are warning residents to follow generator safety tips:

  • Always follow manufacturer instructions when setting up a generator.
  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Only use a generator outside in a well-ventilated area. 
  • Place your generator at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Double-check that the exhaust is pointed away from any doors or vents.

It’s important to take precautions when operating a generator because they produce carbon monoxide gas. Breathing in too much carbon monoxide could cause fainting or death. According to the CDC, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and more than 400 die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year. 

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often flu-like and include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

RELATED: Apartment complex fire burns for 17+ hours during Hurricane Ida; generator may have caused fire

RELATED: 911 service back in Orleans, Jefferson, out in other parishes


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