STEAMBOAT ISLAND, Wash. — Deputies arrested the mother of an 18-month-old boy who died early Monday in a devastating house fire near Olympia, after allegedly discovering the mom left the boy alone and used a hot plate to heat his room.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office arrested 22-year-old Ashley Conroy and booked her into jail on investigation of manslaughter.
Firefighters were called to the house at 7030 Steamboat Island Road around 5 a.m. to reports that a single room inside was on fire. When they arrived, the home was filled with flames and smoke.
They quickly learned the fire started in a young child’s room, but were unable to get to the room because of the blaze, said Douglas Jamieson of Thurston County Fire District 13.
Firefighters extinguished the flames and found the 18-month-old boy dead.
The child’s grandparents identified the toddler as William Bradsnyder.
“[He was] one of the happiest kids I have ever known,” said grandfather Gary Hanson. “God rest his soul.”
Officials believe the mother was using a hot plate to heat the boy’s room, which may have sparked the blaze. Investigators said Conroy was at another home on the property when the fire started. She suffered minor burns trying to run into the house to reach the boy, officials said.
“He was just a happy little boy, he didn’t deserve this at all,” said Hanson.
The sheriff's office said statements from witnesses who live on the same property reported that there have been two previous fires in the same residence, which were not reported due to the fires being put out before they got too big.
The structure appears to be a total loss, officials said, but two other buildings on the property were not damaged.