(KSLA) — A heat lamp sparked a barn fire that killed seven horses in Bossier Parish, the Louisiana fire marshal’s office reports.
South Bossier Fire Department firefighters responded to the fire in the 1900 block of Louisiana Highway 154 in Elm Grove about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
Three of the horses belonged to the property owner; the other four were being boarded there.
Deputy fire marshals have since determined that heat lamp that had been left on in the barn to keep the horses warm had overheated.
Two other recent fires also involved overheated heat lamps, the fire marshal’s office reports. Three people suffered minor injuries while trying to escape a fire in Livingston Parish. And in the Houma area, a dog that was being kept warm by a heat lamp died in the resulting fire.
Now the state fire marshal’s office is warning of the dangers of using heat lamps.
“Heat lamps seem like a simple solution. But in reality, they’re a fire hazard similar to a space heater that are unfortunately left unattended frequently,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said.
“These lamps being placed close to bedding and left on for extended periods of time are not only dangerous for the animals you’re trying to warm, but if a fire starts, you’re jeopardizing your property and your family’s lives, too.”
The best way to protect pets from the freezing cold is to bring them inside, the fire marshal advised. “For livestock and larger animals, there are various ways to provide warmth with extra bedding and blankets.
“We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to re-evaluate their preparedness for extreme cold weather and alter your warming game plan now.”