ST. CHARLES PARISH — A Luling woman has been arrested, accused of setting fire to her apartment unit with her children inside.
The State Fire Marshal's Office says that fire also affected other occupied units in the complex. 39-year-old Cassandra Jones was booked into the St. Charles Parish Jail on August 1 for one count of Aggravated Arson.
Investigators say that on the morning hours of July 23, the Luling Fire Department contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) to assist in determining the cause of an apartment fire in the 100 block of Lakewood Drive.
The damage, according to officials, was limited to extensive smoke and soot. SFM deputies learned the manager of the Parc Lakewood Apartments, who is also an area firefighter, heard screaming coming from the unit above the complex office and discovered two children yelling for help from the balcony with smoke exiting the window behind them. The firefighter was able to assist four children in total, ranging in age from 6 years old to 14 years old, out of the unit without injury.
Two tenants of a nearby unit were also alerted to escape the danger without harm. Jones, the mother of the children, was also located in the affected unit and had allegedly attempted to prevent the rescue of her children She was detained by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Investigators say it was determined that there were multiple areas of origin inside the unit, which included several charred items. The fire was deemed to have been intentionally set.
The fire department says they also noted having been called to this same unit for a minor fire call two days prior. Witness statements and evidence identified Jones as a suspect in the case and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Jones was taken into custody on August 1 upon her release from the hospital.