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Improper heating suspected in deadly fire; victim identified

A woman died and her grandson was injured in a late night fire Friday in Mansfield./KTBS

MANSFIELD, Louisiana (KTBS) — A woman died and her grandson was injured in a late night fire Friday in Mansfield.

Neighbors were able to rescue a 6-year-old boy but could not reach his grandmother. The child was taken to DeSoto Regional Health System for treatment and is expected to recover.

DeSoto Parish coroner Dr. Stacey Henderson’s office identified the victim as Mary McIntyre, 63, of Mansfield.

Mansfield firefighters responded to the fire just after 11 p.m. in the 100 block of Division Street.

State fire marshal deputies assessed the scene and interviewed witnesses, which led to their determination the fire started in the center of the mobile home in the area of the kitchen and living room. A space heater and the oven were being used for heating.

The state fire marshal’s office said the tragedy highlights the safe home heating tips it has been sharing with the public for the past week ahead of the frigid weather. In addition to advising not to use stoves or ovens to heat homes due to the fire and carbon monoxide danger that practice poses, those tips include:

• Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets and curtains

• Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords

• Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood-burning stoves

• Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended

Also, deputies were unable to confirm the presence of working smoke alarms in the home. The SFM stresses to all Louisiana residents that smoke alarms have proven to be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency, no matter the type of home.