OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KLFY) — A West Monroe man is dead after Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s (LSFMO) officials say he reentered his burning home to save his dog Sunday night, Jan. 2.

The victim, age 69, has not been publicly identified in the state’s first fire fatality in 2022.

LSFMO Public Affairs Director Ashley Rodrigue said firefighters responded to a call on La. 3033. The victim, the home’s sole occupant, had escaped the fire but returned to save his dog. The victim was found dead in the living room. The dog was found dead in a bedroom.

Rodrigue said investigators believe the fire originated in the home’s carport, though it isn’t clear yet how it started. An electrical malfunction is one possible scenario, said Rodrigue. Investigators were unable to find working smoke alarms in the home.

State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said that even in a home with working smoke detectors, the first priority should be to get out of a burning building and to stay out.

“The goal is first to do whatever you can to prevent fire,” said Browning. “But if you experience fire, the priority is getting out safely. Possessions can be purchased again. Life cannot.”

Operation Save-A-Life is an organization that can help get you working smoke alarms for your home, said Browning.