FRANKLIN, La. (BRPROUD) – A man faces charges after allegedly setting fire to his girlfriend and nephew, according to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (LOSFM).
The fire took the life of the suspect’s five-year-old nephew while the female victim is in the hospital with critical injuries, said State Fire Marshal officials in a news release.
On July 13 at around 8 p.m., a local volunteer fire company and Franklin Fire Department responded to reports of a mobile home fire on the 400 block of Prairie Road North, according to LOSFM. First-responders at the scene found two burn victims — a woman and a young boy. Officials reported after both individuals were taken to local hospitals, the child was pronounced dead.
The LOSFM said that the child’s identification is unknown and the cause of death is to be determined by the St. Mary Parish Coroner’s Office.
The suspect, 49-year-old Derwin Hamilton, was detained by St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies. Deputies discovered that Hamilton and the female victim had an argument when he “poured a liquid on her and the child, who is Hamilton’s great-nephew, and then set them on fire,” according to LOSFM.
Hamilton is in the parish jail and faces charges on one count each of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
“The ultimate danger is when fire is used to commit a crime,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning. “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.”