Tuesday morning blaze guts Miss-Lou Marine building

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fire destroyed a Vidalia boat and marine store Tuesday morning.

Concordia Parish Fire District No. 2 Chief Nolen Cothren said dispatch received a call at 9:21 a.m. that Miss-Lou Marine on Carter St. was on fire.

Cothren said firemen were on the scene five minutes later and the fire was extinguished in about 30 minutes.

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Owners Kent and Crystal Charrier were in the front of the building when the fire started in the back.

“I was actually having a cup of coffee and she saw the fire through the door so I grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed until it was empty while she called the fire department,” Kent said.

Kent said Crystal escaped the fire through the front door of the building, while he got out through the back.

“The smoke had gotten so bad that I couldn’t see the door when I got out,” Kent said.

Both escaped without injuries.

The building contained four or five motors that belonged to customers, several “junk motors” donated by customers and one bass boat, Kent said.

All were damaged in the fire.

“It’s just one of (your) nightmares where everything in there belongs to other people,” Kent said.

Cothren said the fire was a mistake on Kent’s part.

“Kent was working on the boat, and he pulled the fuel lines off (the boat), and he thinks he left the power switch on in the boat,” Cothren said.

Once he was outside, Kent said he moved all the boats and equipment that were outside, near the fire, to the empty lot behind the building.

Kent said his next step is to call the owners of the boats and equipment in the lot.

Crystal said she was just glad her kids were back in school.

“Usually they come here after school or (when school is out) I bring them here with me,” Crystal said.

Crystal said any customers wishing to pick up their boats and other equipment can call 318-336-2628.