Addis couple is rebuilding their lives after losing everything in house fire

ADDIS, La. – An Addis couple, who is inching closer to retirement, is rebuilding their lives after a fast-moving house fire gutted their home last month.

When frigid cold temperatures blanketed Louisiana in mid January, David LeBlanc was inside of his warm home waiting for the roads to thaw.

LeBlanc, 61, delivers newspapers for The Advocate and was getting a late start due to icy road conditions. Once it was safe to drive, David dropped his wife Charlotte, 62, at their son’s house and went to run his paper route.

David was working his route in Pierre Part when he got word the house was on fire, according to his daughter Rachelle LeBlanc.

The fire spread quickly through the older wood-frame house and it was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. It took nearly an hour to get the fire under control and several more hours to put out all of the hotspots.

A space heater that was left on in the home caused the fire, according to West Baton Rouge Fire Chief Butch Browning.

MORE FROM UNFILTERED WITH KIRAN: Space heater to blame for Addis house fire

Near retirement and starting over
According to their daughter Rachelle, the couple lost everything; her parents rented the home from a family member and did not have renter’s insurance. She said the fire gutted the house, and her parents lost family heirlooms like photographs and antique furniture.

The only furniture they managed to salvage was a desk and a full-size bed kept in storage on the property.

The LeBlancs are staying with their adult children until they can save enough money to find a place. The couple is living on David’s income as a newspaper carrier, and now in their early 60s, they are both nearing retirement.

Charlotte is still grieving the loss of her father in September and the couple’s initial plans to purchase the house from her sister have changed. Still they’re grateful to be alive and have a roof over their heads.

People in the community have also reached out to help. The LeBlancs received some clothes and cash donations from friends and neighbors who stopped by to check on them.

“My parents are not going to ask for help but they’ll accept it,” Rachelle told Unfiltered with Kiran.

For that reason, Rachelle and her siblings created a GoFundMe page for anyone who wishes to make a donation to help the LeBlancs rebuild their lives.

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