Lawtell fire claims two, spares 2 teens, child

A Lawtell man and his wife died in an early Monday blaze that engulfed the home, but two teens and an 11-year-old girl were able to escape, officials said.

Firefighters found the bodies of Willis Amos Semien, 72, and his wife, Lou Anna Semien, 66, in the charred rubble, according to a statement by the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Semiens lived in the home, a wood-framed structure at 407 La. 358, with three others: their 19-year-old daughter, a 14-year-old foster child and their 11-year-old granddaughter, according to the statement.

St. Landry Parish Fire District 3 firefighters received a call at 4:21 a.m. from the Semiens’ neighbors, who were awakened by the girls who fled the home.

“Investigators determined that the fire originated in the area of the living room, but have not yet identified the cause of the fire,” the Fire Marshal’s Office said.

The bodies were released to the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office for autopsies, fire officials said.