Louisiana State Fire Marshal vehicle parked at headquarters, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 in Baton Rouge, La.

A Hammond man died early Wednesday in a fire that engulfed his mobile home, the State Fire Marshal's office said Thursday.

The Hammond Rural Fire Department responded to a call about a mobile home blaze shortly before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday on Old Covington Highway, according to a news release issued by state fire officials. The man’s body was found inside.

The man’s identity and cause of death have yet to be formally released, pending an investigation by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s office, officials said. But investigators believe him to be the 61-year-old who lived in the mobile home.

Fire deputies have yet to determine what sparked the flames, but they say they believe the fire began outside the home.

Officials say the “improper discarding of smoking materials” may have been what started it.

“This is an unfortunate loss for this man’s family that we hope other families can learn from,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said in the news release. “That starts with recognizing that small, preventative steps like putting out cigarettes in a fire-safe container or ash tray that is located a safe distance from combustible objects can actually mean saving a life.”

State fire officials are investigating the incident alongside the Louisiana Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Hammond Fire Prevention Bureau.

James Finn writes for The Advocate as a Report For America corps member. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @RJamesFinn.