The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
Jul. 14—A 5-year-old boy is dead and a woman is in critical condition after a Franklin man, who was arrested, allegedly set them on fire Tuesday, according to the Office of Louisiana State Fire Marshal.
At around 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Centerville Volunteer Fire Company, with the assistance of the Franklin Fire Department, responded to the 400 block of Prairie Road north in the community of Centerville, Public Affairs Director, Ashley Rodrigue, said.
Upon arrival, firefighters located a woman and a 5-year-old boy outside of the home, both badly burned. Both the woman and 5-year-old were transported to local hospitals where the boy was pronounced dead, and the woman in critical condition, Rodrigue said.
Firefighters encountered Derwin Hamilton, 49, at the scene, who was also outside of the home with minor burns. According to statements made by the woman about the incident, Hamilton was detained by the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office prior to being taken to a local hospital for treatment.
According to deputies, they learned that Hamilton and the woman were in a relationship and had been arguing about separating when the fire occurred. The woman said to first responders that during the argument, Hamilton poured a liquid on her and the child, who is Hamilton’s great nephew, and then set them on fire.
In an interview with deputies, Hamilton admitted to the crimes. A warrant was then obtained for Hamilton’s arrest, and he was booked and charged on one count each of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s jail.
“The ultimate danger is when fire is used to commit a crime,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said. “In this instance, that crime resulted in the tragic death of an innocent child and left his guardian in critical condition. Our prayers go out to the victims’ families while we pursue justice on their behalf.”
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