Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6 and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of a fire that claimed the life of a Natchitoches man and injured his elderly father on Wednesday evening according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones.
On Wednesday evening November 20 at approximately 8:00pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to 911 reports of a structure fire in the 100 block of Dogwood Court in Cedar Grove Sub-Division just east of Natchitoches.
The 911 caller reported they believed someone was inside the mobile home.
Deputies arrived on scene and learned that 93-year old Walter Rachal of Natchitoches suffering from minor burns and possible smoke inhalation had been pulled from the burning home by a neighbor.
Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6, with assistance from Natchitoches Parish Fire District #5 and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS responded to the scene.
Mr. Rachal was transported from the scene by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he currently remains undergoing treatment.
Deputies also learned that an additional occupant was possibly still inside the mobile home.
After the fire was contained, Fire District #6 firefighters found the body of a male in the front bedroom.
Natchitoches Parish Deputy Asst. Coroner Steven Clanton pronounced 67-year-old Claude Neal Rachal of 117 Dogwood Court, Natchitoches dead at the scene.
Investigators with the La. State Fire Marshal’s Office and Detectives with the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division also responded to the scene to assist in the investigation to try to determine a cause of the fire.
Deputies say the mobile home received heavy damage.
The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6 and the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division.
Sheriff Jones extends his sympathy to the Rachal family.