A fire that broke out in the kitchen of a Balis Drive apartment Friday afternoon took the lives of an elderly couple, despite their son’s efforts to save them from the flames, Baton Rouge Fire Department officials reported.
Firefighters arriving shortly after noon saw flames pouring from the windows and door of an apartment near College Drive and just beneath the Interstate 10 freeway, said Mark Miles, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman.
Though firefighters controlled the blaze within 15 minutes, Ezekiel Jackson, 71, and Gloria Jackson, 63, were killed from smoke inhalation, and smoke damage spread to the two adjacent units, Miles said.
The son was taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation, but his injury was not considered serious, Miles said.
The fire’s cause is still unclear.
“It hurts me to see it happen like this,” said the complex’s landlord, who declined to give his name. “They were elderly, fine people.”
The couple’s son lived with them and often picked up groceries and handled other tasks, the landlord said.
Ezekiel Jackson became bedridden in the last three years, and Gloria Jackson had stopped working to take care of him, said Donald Wayne Murray, a neighbor who used to cut grass for the couple when they lived in a different home nearby.
The three-unit complex where the family lived sustained $95,000 of damage to its structure and contents, Miles said. Tenants in the adjacent unit weren’t home when the fire broke out, but firefighters rescued a dog that had been left in one of the units.