POSTED: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 11:30am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 1:56pm
RAYNE, LA — UPDATE: Charges against Shaqueta McDade were upgraded to four counts of Second-Degree murder.
ORIGINAL STORY: Late Saturday evening State Fire Marshal investigators responded to a residential fire in the community of Rayne which claimed the lives of four children. An investigation into the circumstances of the fire led to the arrest of the children’s mother.
Shortly before midnight on Saturday, firefighters from the Rayne Fire Department were dispatched to a residential fire on Edith Street. Upon their arrival, a mobile home was found engulfed in flames. After extinguishing the fire, it was determined that the home’s occupants had not escaped the fire. Rayne Fire Chief Barry Granger requested assistance from State Fire Marshal Investigators to determine the origin and cause of the fire. The remains of four juveniles, ages 8, 7, 5, and 2 years of age, were recovered from the scene and released to the Acadia Parish Coroner’s Office.
The fire caused structural failure and the roof of the mobile home had to be stabilized and partially removed before the investigation could proceed. Based on the fire patterns observed, the fire was determined to have originated in the living room area of the home. Due to the severe damage caused by the fire, accidental causes for the fire were unable to be ruled out, and the cause is being classified as undetermined at this time.
Detectives with the Rayne Police Department conducted an interview with the children’s mother and determined the children had been left unattended. The mother, Shaqueta McDade, 26, was subsequently charged with 4 counts of Negligent Homicide and booked in the Acadia Parish Prison.
The investigation is continuing.