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Franklin Parish Resident’s Death Believed Suicide
from Staff Reports - NEWS
February 8, 2014 -

Wisner, LA – State Fire Marshal investigators were called upon last night to investigate a residential fire in Wisner where the homeowner lost her life. Winnsboro firefighters were dispatched to 970 Tom Kerrigan Road after a neighbor reported the fire. First arriving firefighters observed a small amount of smoke venting from a bedroom window of the double-wide mobile home.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire which was limited to the mattress and bedding within a spare bedroom of the residence. Within that same room, firefighters observed the lifeless body of 64 year old Shirley Pailette, the sole occupant, slumped over the bed. Also found within the room were the remains of a small dog. State Fire Marshal investigators were called upon to investigate the circumstances of Pailette’s death and the cause of the fire.

State Fire Marshal investigators working with Franklin Parish authorities learned through interviews that Pailette suffered from early stages of Alzheimer’s. Investigators noted a large amount of prescription medication throughout the residence. Investigators discovered a journal within the home which indicated that Pailette had suicidal tendencies. Investigators also discovered a handwritten note within the master bedroom which made reference to committing suicide.

The body was processed on the scene by investigators and released to Franklin Parish Coroner’s Office for autopsy. Investigators will await the findings of the autopsy which will conclusively determine the cause and manner of death. That autopsy is scheduled to be conducted in Little Rock, Arkansas early next week.

The cause of the fire is being classified as accidental. Investigators believe that a cigarette being held in the victim’s right hand at the time of losing consciousness ignited bedding materials, causing the fire. 

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