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Police have charged a Louisiana woman, whose preschool-aged children died in a house fire after she left them unattended to have her hair done.

Ciarra Johnson left 4-year-old Tashae Thompson Johnson and 3-year-old Clifton Thompson Johnson in the home alone while she attended her appointment, authorities say. State Fire Marshal Deputy Chief Brant Thompson recovered the bodies of the young children in the two-bedroom house in Bastrop.

Johnson told authorities she made arrangements with a family member to watch the two children, but an investigation revealed the 21-year-old woman left the children unattended for nearly five hours.

“Our investigation determined that she made no such arrangements,” Thompson told USA TODAY. “That’s what is so disturbing to us. There were family members around she could have called, but she just didn’t bother.”

Thompson said that the fire was called in shortly after 3 p.m. Monday. Johnson, 21, told authorities she had left for a 1:30 p.m. appointment. Investigators determined she actually had left the children alone since 10 a.m. that day.

Johnson, who was found locked in her car at the scene, said two gas space heaters were operating in the home when she left, Thompson said. When she returned, the single-family, wood-framed structure was engulfed in flames. Investigators also determined that the cause of the fire was the close proximity of flammable materials to a space heater, Thompson said.

Johnson will be charged with two counts of negligent homicide.


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