Cause of fatal fire in Gloster still in doubt

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

GLOSTER&045;State fire investigators are still not sure of the cause of a blaze that claimed the lives of a mother and her infant son here last month.

Victoria Porter, 20, and her 2-year-old son, Ladarius Robinson, were pronounced dead at the scene of a house fire at 538 W. Walnut St. on Feb. 6.

Autopsies later showed that both victims died of smoke inhalation.

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But how the fire started is still a mystery, according to State Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Millard D. Mackey.

&uot;The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined at this time,&uot; Mackey said Wednesday.

Mackey said agents from his office are still interviewing potential witnesses.

&uot;We still have an active investigation, and we are following up on some information,&uot; he said.

The front part of the wood-frame house was engulfed in flames when the Gloster Fire Department responded to the 8:15 a.m. call, said Gloster Police Chief Tommie Lee.

Lee said the mother and son were the only occupants of the house, which belongs to Gloster resident Jean Chapman.

Lee said the victims had been living in the house as guests of Chapman’s daughter, who was at work when the blaze took place.

Fire departments from Centreville and Amite County also responded to the call.