By Dinah Landry
On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 1:39 p.m., a concerned citizen contacted the Cameron Parish Sheriff Department to report a marsh fire north of the old settlement in Big Lake on Hwy. 384.
Immediately following the dispatcher contact with the Grand Lake Fire Department, three trucks, three Captains and two firefighters were dispatched to the scene. And what they found was an enormous marsh fire too far into the wetlands for the trucks or firefighters to reach with hoses.
Within minutes the fire spread while firefighters kept the flames off the fence line and utility poles. In the blink of an eye high southwest winds caused flames to leap over the blacktopped road into the marsh area on the other side of the roadway. More firefighters were called in and an attempt to control the fire was made. Calcasieu Parish fire officials and trucks arrived to give aid to Cameron Parish.
Quickly the fire was now headed for Calcasieu Parish and in a direct line for Deatonville. The Calcasieu Parish firefighters went from house to house evacuating Deatonville and surrounding areas. The fire spread even more quickly and soon the only residence on Cleve Miller Rd. was engulfed in flames. Firemen rescued the occupants as the home burned quickly. The house was a total loss.
Firemen from Grand Lake and Calcasieu Parish set up a staging area at a local business located Deatonville. The plan was to fight the fire from that location and save the Deatonville community. The fire was monitored through the night and as of the next morning was still burning. Grand Lake Fire Dept. was dismissed earlier in the night.