Woman sentenced to house arrest after fire

Published 12:03 am Friday, April 6, 2012

NATCHEZ — The woman whose two children were discovered unresponsive and covered in soot in a May 2011 house fire will spend a year under house arrest.

Venicia Firley, 26, pleaded guilty to felony child deprivation in Adams County Circuit Court March 29. Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson sentenced her to five years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections and one year house arrest and intense supervision. The five years in MDOC were suspended.

The case originated on June 1, 2011.

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Firley reportedly left two young children, Charvontae Buchannan and Kayvan Barideaux — who the Adams County Sheriff’s office reports were ages 2 and 4 at the time — at her 12 North Circle Drive residence for 10 to 15 minutes to exercise. During that time, a fire ignited.

Officials later said the older child admitted to playing with matches.

The two children were locked in the house, and Firley said at the time that when she left they were napping.

A neighbor reported the fire at 8:30 p.m. The fire originated in the front end of the house, and the children were found in the rear of the structure.

Firefighters performed CPR on the children, and they were transported to University Medical Center in Jackson for treatment. The children later recovered.

Firley was arrested on the charges in June 2011.