UPDATE 8/27/22 5:26 p.m.: The victim has been identified as Jordy Dugas, 33.
ORIGINAL: YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – A Youngsville man is speaking out about losing his home and friend in a fatal house fire. He says not only did his family lose everything in the fire, but he also lost a friend.
“He didn’t make it. I don’t know what happened. He helped a girl get out of the window, and she said he went to come out of the window, and he fell back in. She heard him banging around inside. I don’t know what happened after that,” Zackary Viator said.
Viator says his friend was living with him and his father at the home. Firefighters found his body inside a bedroom once the fire was under control. Viator says he’d just left home when the fire started.
His father, who recently suffered a stroke, survived because he’d asked his son if he could come with him but decided to stay home. “Thank God my dad stayed outside when I left because he probably wouldn’t have made it because he’s hurt so bad. He can barely walk. Thankfully, he was outside already,” says Viator.
Viator was only a few minutes away when neighbors called to him their house was on fire. “I came back home, and the whole house was gone,” he recalled. Not only was the house he grew up in gone, but they lost everything inside.
“We lost all of our clothes, our pictures, all my yearbooks, all of the pictures of my kids when they were little babies, pretty much everything,” he said.
Viator says it still doesn’t feel real. “It’s very sad, depressing. I couldn’t believe it. I still feel like it’s a dream,” he said.