Firefighter recently laid off helps fight house fire in Louisiana


CROWLEY, La. (KLFY)- Firefighters in Crowley worked to put a house fire out early this morning that resulted in a total loss.

This comes after the Crowley mayor laid off five personnel from the Crowley Fire Department.​

“I went to bed a little after 12 a.m., and I heard a big bang and through the window. I could see nothing but flames engulfed,” Dalel Helo, a Crowley resident, said.

​​Helo recalled seeing her neighbor’s house engulfed in flames just after midnight.

Thankfully, her 94-year-old neighbor and daughter made it out safely, but their dog did not.​

“There was the structure on fire. There were several cars on fire. There was a house that lit up next door on the north side, but we did handle it,” Robert Burke, district Chief for Crowley Fire Department, said.

​​On Tuesday, Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux laid off 15 city employees including five fire department personnel- three of those were firefighters.​​

“They could’ve kept everyone, cut their hours, even though they weren’t working full time, and keep them on until the economy can get back on its feet, and then they would still have their jobs,” explained Helo.​

One of the Crowley firefighters laid off decided on his own to help fight the house fire early Thursday morning.​ That was Jake Richard.

“That’s a brotherhood,” explained Richard. “I love what I do. I’m not going to leave them hanging, and I’ll help any way I can.”

​​Helping any way he can for Jake meant putting his fire gear on and fighting fire- something he loves to do.​​
“I love fighting fire. I walked up, and you could see the smiles on their faces like they had some relief. I was just one person, but it’s one person that gets to help them and give them a little break,” said Richard.
It took a total of about five hours to put out the house fire.

Fire officials tell News 10 five personnel from the fire department received medical attention.

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