A Luling woman has been arrested and charged with arson for apparently setting fire to her apartment unit with her children inside, which also affected other occupied units in the complex.
Cassandra Jones, 39, was booked into the St. Charles Parish Jail on Aug. 1 for one count of aggravated arson.
In the morning hours of July 23, the Luling Fire Department contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) to assist in determining the origin and cause of an apartment fire located in the 100 block of Lakewood Drive, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. The damage was limited to extensive smoke and soot effects.
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 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 attempted to prevent the children’s rescue. She was eventually detained by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
After an assessment of the scene, it was determined there were multiple areas of origin inside the unit, which included several charred items, and the fire was deemed to have been intentionally set. The fire department 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 Aug. 1 upon her release from the medical facility.