Officials say the 6-year-old who died in a fire over the weekend in Geismar was playing in a makeshift fort when the fire broke out.
State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the afternoon fire that claimed the life of a child in Geismar but provided more details as to what happened.
At around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October. 10, the Geismar Volunteer Fire Department and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a fire call at a home located in the 37000 block of Cornerview Road.
SFM say that First responders arrived to find a flatbed, cargo trailer, and its contents, on fire in the front yard of the property. The body of a child was found under the contents.
While official identification and cause of death are pending with the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office, they say the victim is believed to be a 6-year-old male resident of the home next door to where the fire occurred.
Following an assessment of the scene, deputies say they determined the victim and two siblings, ages 9 and 4, had been playing on the trailer in front of a relative’s home, which was next door to their home. Adults were present inside both homes at the time of the fire.
Deputies learned the children were playing inside of a hollowed-out, pre-fabricated concrete staircase that had been covered in an effort to create a fort environment.
Witness statements, according to SFM, indicate the children had possession of a lighter and used it to light a small pile of combustible objects as though it was a campfire.
While the other two children were able to escape unharmed, the 6-year-old was trapped and died.
“There is no other way to describe this other than purely tragic,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “While we are keeping this child and his family in our prayers, we’re also pleading with other families to learn from this devastating loss.”
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