2 children killed, 3 hurt in Franklinton area fire

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Two children were killed and three more were badly injured in a fire early Wednesday morning in the Franklinton area, according to the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM).

SFM officials said that at 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Franklinton Fire & Rescue responded to a fire call in the 45000 block of Beau Drive north of Franklinton and found two adults and three children outside of the mobile home. The family indicated there were still two children unaccounted for. Firefighters later located the bodies of the two children, one a 10-year-old girl, the other a 6-year-old boy, in separate bedrooms.

Witness statements indicate that the 3-year-old boy noticed the fire and alerted a male adult, SFM officials said. The male adult escaped through a window with the toddler. While the adult female attempted to access the other children, a neighbor pulled her from the home. In the meantime, the escaped adult male re-entered the home from the front where he pulled two of the children to safety. Attempts to reach the remaining two children were unsuccessful, according to the SFM.

The three children that were able to escape were airlifted to Baton Rouge-area hospitals. The adult male suffered mild smoke inhalation and cuts, but did not receive medical treatment. An adult female was unharmed by the fire.

The adults and three of the children were residents of the mobile home, SFM officials said. The two additional children in the home at the time of the fire are cousins of the resident family. The deceased 10-year-old resided in the home, while the deceased 6-year-old was visiting for the night, according to the SFM.

Official identification of the victims and preliminary causes of death are pending autopsies being conducted by the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office.

Investigators believe the fire began in a bedroom in the center of the structure, where the 10-year-old was found. While an exact cause remains under investigation, there are no suspicious circumstances at this time. Smoke alarms were found in the home; however, investigators have been unable to confirm they were working.
A GoFundMe page was launched online to collect donations to help Teresa Johnson and her family. The page says Johnson’s son, Tristan, was one of the two children killed in the fire.

According to the page, the fundraiser is for both families involved in the tragedy, and all donations will be split between them for the funeral expenses of their children.

The web address for the GoFundMe page is www.gofundme.com/fire-victims-funeral-expense.