PLEASANT VALLEY (CBS13) — A family tragedy — the loss of a 4-year-old boy in a Pleasant Valley house fire last month — has now turned into a criminal matter, CBS13’s Ron Jones has learned.
Neighbors are learning a mother is behind bars, accused of contributing to the death of her son in El Dorado County.
“You can’t expect the kid to know what to do when the house is on fire,” Pleasant Valley resident Daniel Clouse said Tuesday night.
It was Sept. 8 shortly after midnight when the El Dorado County Fire District responded to an emergency call of a structure fire on View Point Drive.
The first unit reported heavy fire was coming out of several windows and the roof.
Firefighters were told by three family members who escaped the flames that the young boy was still inside. It was 4-year-old Sebastian Ewing.
“They both tried, they both went over there with hoses, trying to move the flames so they could get the baby out,” Jessica Simpson, the little boy’s aunt, told CBS13 just hours after the tragedy, explaining that his mother and grandfather tried to go back in to rescue him.
Fire crews searched through the heavy smoke and heat for the boy and found his lifeless little body in a bedroom.
Jessica says the family doesn’t know how the fire started, but said they did everything they could to rescue Sebastian from the flames inside his bedroom.
“My dad pushed the door, the bedroom door open because the flames kept shutting it, and my dad’s glasses flew and he burned his head right here, and he had a hose with him too,” she said the day after the blaze.
Weeks later deputies arrested Sebastian’s mother, 27-year-old Jennifer Christine Ewing. She’s charged with child endangerment.
Not many details are being released from investigators, but they say not having working smoke detectors in the home could have been a contributing factor in Sebastian’s death.
“It may have been a factor, but it’s still a kid,” Clouse said
Jennifer Ewing is being held in the El Dorado County Jail on $100,000 bail.