West Baton Rouge teacher loses everything after fire rips through home

west baton rouge teacher loses all in fire

PORT ALLEN, La. — An early morning fire in West Baton Rouge Parish has left a teacher and her family homeless and in need of clothes and household items.

It was around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 on Avenue C, when Tawanda Schofield-Knightshed, 54, tells Unfiltered with Kiran that the fire started in the garage and quickly spread.

“The wind blew the flames into my house and the house caught on fire when the house burned down and we lost everything,” she said. “My grandson, who was still awake, heard my cousin knocking on the door telling us the house was on fire and to get out.”

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time by the West Baton Rouge Fire Dept. However, Schofield-Knightshed has her suspicions.

She tells UWK her ex-husband’s nephew was homeless and she was allowing him to live in the garage. She said he was burning something and she remembers telling him to make sure he extinguished it. She added around midnight, she was locking up and turning off all the lights to prepare for bed and told him again, to extinguish the fire. Next thing she knows, her house went up in flames.

“One of my neighbors said they heard an explosion and saw him (the nephew) running out of the garage but he never notified any of us the house was on fire. That’s when my cousin came knocking to our door.”

The West Baton Rouge Parish school teacher was asleep in her home at the time of the fire. Three of her grandchildren were also in the home at the time, two of whom live with her, Koby, 18, & Payton, 11. She said this night though, her 9-yr-old granddaughter was also at her home spending the night. When they all escaped uninjured, she couldn’t help but look back at what was once her grandparents home turned her home for the last decade.

“Everything went through me. I saw my whole life. I was raised there. My kids were raised there and to just see everything go….,” she said.

The home has been deemed a complete loss. The family is now in need of clothes. (Sizes below)

“Whatever anybody has to offer. I don’t have anything. Everything is gone. I lost everything. We only left with the pajama set we had on,” she said. “Right now, we don’t have a home but we lost all our household items.”

All donations can be dropped off at Brusly Upper Elementary, where Schofield-Knightshed has been a teacher for the last four years. Prior to that though, she was a teacher at Lukeville Elementary School in Brusly having taught kids in West Baton Rouge Parish for the last 25 years.

Koby, 18

  • 32 x 32 pants
  • Large top
  • Medium boxer briefs
  • Medium undershirt
  • 10 size shoes

Payton, 11

  • 48 x 30 pants
  • 2XL shirts
  • 2XL boxer briefs
  • 2XL undershirts
  • 10 size shoes

Tawanda, 54

  • 18/20 size clothes
  • 22/24 underwear
  • 44 DD Bra
  • Dresses 18/20 or 22/24
  • Shoes 9/9.5

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to updated on any new developments.

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