The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal has arrested a Singer woman in connection with the overnight, fire-related death of her 11-year-old son.
Jenny Rebecca Stafford, 41, was booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail on one count of Negligent Homicide. The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office placed Stafford under arrest for one count each of Possession of Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substances and Drug Paraphernalia.
Beauregard Fire District 1 responded to the call about an 11-year-old trapped in a camper fire on South Smokey Cove Road around 1 a.m. today.
Firefighters later discovered the child’s body in a bedroom. Official identification will come from Coroner’s Office.
The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire is still on-going. Investigators have confirmed there were no working smoke detectors in the home.
In an interview with investigators, Stafford, the child’s mother, allegedly admitted to leaving the sleeping child unattended in order to go next door to do drugs. Despite being feet away from the camper, Stafford became aware of the fire only after being alerted by an acquaintance who discovered the smoke and flames when they arrived in the area.
“We are now at a count of six fatal fires in our state in a week-and-a-half’s time; three of those have involved the deaths of children,” a release from the Fire Marshal states.
The Fire Marshal “strongly urges families to recognize the life-saving difference that smoke alarms can make in a fire emergency. Our agency partners with local fire departments and districts to provide FREE smoke alarm installations at any time of the year through our Operation Save-A-Life program. Visit lasfm.org for more information on the program,” the release states.