The blackened walls of an upstairs room could be seen Thursday morning through the shattered windows of a Carlotta Street house where a fire killed one man and seriously injured another.
James Mobley, 37, died from high levels of carbon monoxide toxicity, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark, who ruled his death accidental.
Fire crews were told upon their arrival just after 7 a.m. that Mobley was trapped inside the house on the second floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene, fire officials said.
A second man who lives in the building was able to escape, but suffered second- and third-degree burns and was taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center by EMS. He was listed in serious condition, Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman Curt Monte said.
When firefighters first arrived, they found smoke coming from the second floor of 3265 Carlotta St., a red house divided into five units.
At least 14 fire and police vehicles were crammed into the area alongside giant hoses snaking down the street. The fire was under control by 7:36 a.m.
Several neighbors huddled together near the scene, which is just steps from LSU’s campus, between East State and East Chimes streets.
Kevin Perkins, 32, also lives at the red house and happened to be on a run when the fire broke out.
“Most times I’m still trying to sleep,” Perkins said of getting up in the early morning.
But that wasn’t the case Thursday.
“My eyes popped open at like 5 o’clock. And I’m like, ‘No, Jesus, not this morning, I’m tired … let me sleep ’til 6:30,’ ” Perkins said. “And it was like, ‘No, boy, get up, stop being lazy.’ ”
Two LSU students, Claire Babin and Ronni Bourgeois, both 22, said they live next door and moved their cars once they saw the fire.
“I heard them yelling and stuff and I woke up and looked out my window and saw, like, a lot of smoke and stuff, so I went over and woke up my roommate and said, ‘I’m pretty sure there’s a fire next door,’ ” Babin said.
The building and contents received heavy fire and smoke damage, totaling about $75,000. Monte said there appeared to be working smoke alarms inside the residence.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Follow Maya Lau on Twitter, @mayalau.