UPDATE posted Aug. 11:
MITCHELL, La. -- A Sabine Parish man who died Thursday in a house fire was smoking while using an oxygen machine, according to the state fire marshal in a news release Tuesday.
The fire claimed the life of 60-year-old Mark Austin, who was physically disabled and bed-bound. Preliminary autopsy results and evidence gathered at the scene indicate the fire originated with the oxygen machine near the victim, then spread throughout the structure, the fire marshal said.
Austin's wife attempted to rescue him but was driven away by flames and smoke.
“Some of the most common fire causes we see in our investigations are smoking-related and cooking-related, both totally preventable,” said Fire Marshal Butch Browning. “We urge residents to consider basic safety steps like remaining in the kitchen when cooking and conducting any smoking activities outside of the home in an environment that is free from flammable materials.”
ORIGINAL STORY posted Aug. 7:
MITCHELL, La. - Authorities have released the name of a man who died Thursday in a mobile home fire in Sabine Parish.
The body of Mark Austin, 60, was found in the charred rubble of the home, located on state Highway 174 east of Converse, according to Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers.
Another person in the home was able to escape the flames, Rivers said.
Fire officials say the fire likely started in the living room, but it remains under investigation by the state fire marshal's office.
North Sabine Fire District firefighters were still putting out hot spots around 10 p.m. Thursday.
This is the second fatal fire this week in Northwest Louisiana. The first one claimed the life of an 87-year-old woman in Campti.