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Public Safety News
Galveston Fire Department
News Release
Friday, February 02, 2018

House Fire Claims the Lives of Two Galveston Residents

Galveston, Texas - On Wednesday night, January 31st, at 8:46pm the Galveston Emergency Communications Office received several 9-1-1 calls reporting a house fire at 4315 Ave Q ½. The Galveston Fire Department responded with a standard 1st alarm response that brings 18 Firefighters to the scene. In addition, Galveston EMS responded with 1 Mobile Intensive Care unit.

The first two fire crews arrived at 8:50p and observed smoke and fire coming from a one-story wood frame house. Neighbors reported that the occupants were believed to still be inside. Firefighters initiated a primary search and fire attack. As the remaining responding units began arriving, the initial crew worked quickly to locate and remove two adult occupants from the structure while the fire was being extinguished.

Mr. Benjamin Laughlin, age 79, was removed, however, it was obvious that had succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. At the same time, Mrs. Lillian Laughlin, age 76, was removed and first responders immediately began advanced life support measures before transporting her to UTMB. Sadly, she passed away this afternoon at UTMB’s Blocker Burn Unit. The Laughlin’s dog also perished in the blaze.

The fire was contained and extinguished within minutes and crews remained on scene while Investigators conducted their investigation. At this point, investigators are focused on one specific area of the house however an exact cause determination could take some time simply due to the extensive damage.

“This is a tragic loss for the family of Mr. & Mrs. Laughlin as well as for the City of Galveston,” said Chief Mike Wisko. “GFD has made fire prevention and the safety of our residents, our highest priority and this loss of two residents serves to reinforce our desire to constantly remind everyone of the need for fire safety.”

The Galveston Fire Department would like to remind residents that smoke detectors and fire suppression sprinkler systems do save lives when installed in a home and in proper working order. You can find more information about fire safety measures that can be taken to protect your family on the departments website at www.galvestontx.gov/firesafety.




Remembering Jim Guidry


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