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A disabled elderly man died after a fire started in his Bayou Goula home on Oct. 12, 2019.

 

The adult daughter of a blind and disabled man struggled to save him from a fire at his rural Iberville Parish home on Saturday but was unable to get back inside after rescuing two children, authorities said.

Four people were inside when the Bayou Goula caught fire home before noon, the Louisiana Fire Marshal's Office said Sunday. Charles Woods, the 76-year-old homeowner, was unable to get out and died, trapped inside the burning structure.

Witnesses told responders Woods' daughter noticed smoke and helped her father into his wheelchair before searching the home for two young children, state fire officials said.

The daughter told Iberville sheriff's deputies she managed to get the children out of the home safely but couldn't reach Woods when she tried going back into the home through a window.

While she was trying to get into the house, he stopped responding to her calls, authorities said.

Fire crews later found Woods' body inside of his home, which is the 31000 block of Robinson Road, a rural area surrounded by sprawling farmland and few neighboring houses.

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi, saddened by his death, said Woods was an avid follower of local politics and frequently touched base with the Sheriff's Office about happenings in the community.

"He was a good man," Stassi said.

Police tape remained around the home, and the fire appeared to have torched the majority of the one-story house, and nearly all of the windows had been broken out.

The Fire Marshal's Office said the fire may have started in the utility room but the investigation is ongoing. The home had no working smoke detectors that might have alerted those inside to the fire, officials said.

Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com.