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Detecting a fire early

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From left to right: Ruston Fire Department Public Education Officer Eric Brazzel, RFD Fire Chief James Austin and Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Investigator Ric Abbott on Wednesday investigate the cause of a fire to a house on Barnett Springs Road.

Since the beginning of 2012, officials with the Ruston Fire Department have had their hands full with homes catching fire in the city limits.

Three times since the beginning of January a house fire has broken out — on Pinecrest Street, Barnett Springs Road and Cartwright Street — and all three times the occupants of those dwellings were forced to evacuate their homes, leaving their livelihood up to the mercy of the flames.

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