Mobile home fire death believed to be suicide

MGN Online
Saturday, February 8, 2014 - 4:41pm

A Franklin Parish resident's death is believed to be suicide.

State Fire Marshal investigators were called to investigate a residential fire in Wisner that took the life of a homeowner.

Winnsboro firefighters were called to the 900 block of Tom Kerrigan Road after a neighbor reported a fire.

On arrival, firefighters observed a small amount of smoke venting from a bedroom windown of a double-wide mobile home.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire which was limited to the mattress and bedding within a spare bedroom of the residence.

In that same room, firefighters found the body of Shirley Pailette, 64, slumped over the bed.

They also found the remains of a small dog.

State Fire Marshal investigators were called to investigate  the circumstances of Pailette's death and the cause of the fire.

Investigators worked with Franklin Parish authorities and learned through interviews that Pailette suffered from the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Investigators noted a large amount of prescription medication throughout the home. They also discovered a journal within the home which indicated that Pailette had suicidal tendencies.

There was also a handwritten note in the master bedroom which made reference to committing suicide.

Pailette's body was processed on the scene by investigators and released to Franklin Parish Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

Investigators will await the findings of the autopsy which will determine the cause and manner of death.

The cause of the fire is being classified as accidental, investigators believe that a cigarette was being held in the victim's right hand at the time of losing consciousness and ignited the bedding material thus causing the fire.

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