Landes: A grandmother suspected of killing her two grandchildren in a fire

The Basics A 59-year-old woman was charged and detained on Wednesday evening for attempting to murder her two grandchildren and her companion in the arson of a house in Habas, Landes.

A 59-year-old woman is suspected of having set fire to her companion’s pavilion, which also housed her two grandchildren, aged 10 and 12, on the night of April 14-15, after they had previously used drugs had to place them to sleep. The four residents of the house who were poisoned and evacuated to the Bordeaux hospital center are now out of danger and have been able to leave that hospital.

“The day after (the fire), various elements suggested a premeditated act, with multiple outbreaks of fire under circumstances that indicated that it was one of the people living in the apartment who was responsible for the origin of the sinister,” a correspondent told prosecutors by Mont-de-Marsan Olivier Janson.

“It was also found that the defendant could use drugs to put the three victims to sleep,” he added.
In view of these elements, she was taken into police custody on Monday and so far has only been able to make “extremely vague statements,” the judge said.

Saved by the smoke detector

According to the prosecutor, “the house was equipped with a smoke alarm connected to a surveillance company that initially tried to reach the attendant, unsuccessful because he had already lost consciousness”.

But another family member could be contacted and intervened at the same time as the fire fighters who were also alerted. “Without this alarm device and the rapid intervention of the emergency services, we would not talk about an attack to this day,” said Janson.

According to the newspaper Sud-Ouest, which quotes the companion’s relatives, the latter is a 65-year-old former mechanic whose leg was amputated after an occupational accident. The suspect is a cleaning lady and her two grandchildren live in the neighboring department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. “She didn’t get the facts,” said Me Lucie Chimits, the lawyer who assisted her in police custody.

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