An early morning fire at Vidrine Elementary School claimed the life of a school janitor, according to Mamou District Fire Chief Gary Reed. Chief Reed identified the victim as Donald Thomas, in his late 50’s from Mamou.
The fire was reported to authorities at 5:42 this morning in a storage building where custodians congregate in back of the Vidrine Elementary School Main building. That building is attached to the Kindergarten section. When the first fire unit arrived, there was heavy smoke seen from the burning building.
The Mamou Fire District responded to the fire with four pumper units, two tankers and three rescue units while Ville Platte responded to mutual aid with one pumper and tanker. Chief Reed said 28 firefighters responded to the fire. It took fire crews about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.
After the fire was extinguised, it was reported that one of the custodians was reported missing. Chief Reed sent a rescue team back in to the building and they discovered the body of Donald Thomas.
The investigation is being conducted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. It is undetermined how the fire began but it was confined to the storage building.