Authorities say Ciarria Johnson went out to get her hair done Monday night, leaving her two young children home alone, and returned to the Louisiana house only after she got a call telling her it was on fire. But it was too late: Ta'shae Thompson Johnson, 4, and Clifton Thompson Johnson, 3, were dead. Johnson has been charged with negligent homicide, CNN reports. Though officials are still investigating, the state fire marshal deputy chief says one thing is certain: "Ciarria Johnson ... [left] her children unattended for hours as she was having her hair styled."
The 21-year-old mother said she had arranged for a neighbor to watch them, but that's not true, the deputy chief says. She also said she returned to find the house in flames, but authorities don't believe that's true, either; they say she only returned after being contacted, NOLA.com reports. She allegedly left two gas space heaters running, authorities say, and flammable material left near one of them in the living room is believed to have caused the fire.