Contact: Steve Holmes, PIO


The apartment fire which took the lives of three young children in Union Springs on November 28 has been ruled accidental.  The State Fire Marshal's Office has completed its investigation and determined the fire to have started on a sofa in the den area of the home.

Four year old twins JaLaya and JaDarius smith and thriteen month old Ta'Nyah Shell were all killed in the fire at 830 Peachburg Road in Union Springs. The tenant, Shemeka Smith mother of the twins was also caring for the younger child at the time of the fire but had left the children alone briefly to visit a neighbor.  She discovered the fire upon her return.

Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk attributes the fire's cause to, "a child playing with a lighter." Union Springs Police and Fire Departments as well as investigators from District Attorney Ben Reeves' office and the State Fire Marshal's Office have referred the case to the D.A. for submittal to a Grand Jury to consider possible criminal charges.