BATON ROUGE, La. -- The deaths of seven horses in a barn fire in south Bossier Parish Saturday and the deaths of other animals across the state has the state fire marshal issuing a warning about the use of heat lamps to warm pets in the cold.
The fire in Elm Grove happened around 8:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Highway 154. Seven horses died in the fire. Three belonged to the property owner and four were being boarded there.
Fire marshal investigators said the fire was sparked by an overheated heat lamp that was left in the barn to keep the horses warm, Fire Marshal Butch Browning said in a news release Monday.
“Heat lamps seem like a simple solution, but in reality, they’re a fire hazard similar to a space heater that are unfortunately left unattended frequently,” Browning said. “These lamps being placed close to bedding and left on for extended periods of time are not only dangerous for the animals you’re trying to warm, but if a fire starts, you’re jeopardizing your property and your family’s lives too.”
Two other fire investigations this week involved heat lamps warming cats and dogs outdoors that overheated creating fires. In one case in the Houma area, the dog being warmed died in the resulting fire. In the other case, in Livingston Parish, three people suffered minor injuries trying to escape the fire.
“The best plan of action for protecting pets from frigid temperatures is to bring them inside,” said Browning. “For livestock and larger animals, there are various ways to provide warmth with extra bedding and blankets. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to reevaluate their preparedness for extreme cold weather and alter your warming game plan now.”
Additional recommendations for safe warming of outdoor pets and livestock can be found here: https://www.offthegridnews.com/how-to-2/10-overlooked-ways-to-keep-livestock-warm-during-winter/