Louisiana Man Charged With Arson That Killed His Three Kids

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A man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of setting his home in New Orleans on fire, which resulted in the deaths of his three children, WDSU reported.

Joseph Washington Sr., 29, has been charged with one count of aggravated arson, three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, according to WDSU.

Two of the victims, Washington’s five-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son, were rescued from the fire but later died at a hospital. His three-year-old son’s body was discovered within the remains of the house, WDSU reported. Washington was apprehended a day after the Tuesday night incident.

Washington allegedly leapt from an overpass and was later taken to a hospital for medical evaluation of his injuries, per NBC News.

The authorities were alerted to the danger by the children’s mother, who was at work at the time. She called 911, reporting that someone on the phone was threatening to burn down her residence. The emergency call was followed by the rapid onset of the devastating fire, NBC News reported.

In 2018, the mother of the children filed a restraining order against Washington, alleging instances of physical abuse, including hitting and choking, some of which she claimed occurred while he was holding the children, according to WDSU. (RELATED: ‘I’ll Be Right Back’: Off-Duty Firefighter Saves Family From House Fire)

Washington had been convicted of domestic abuse and battery twice in 2016 and was again arrested in 2018 on similar charges. Additionally, Washington had reportedly previously threatened the lives of his then-wife and children, the outlet noted, citing court documents.