NWGA Scanner | August 14th, 2022

Woman being charged with arson and murder after 19-year-old killed in devastating LaFayette apartment fire

UPDATE: On August 13th, 2022, at 11:15 pm, Lafayette Fire Dept Green shift and Walker Station #8 was dispatched to 1135 Campbell Ave in reference to a residential structure fire. Engine 24, Engine 25, Company 8, Car 171, Car 172, and Car 180 responded. While responding, Car 171 requested mutual aid from Walker County Fire Rescue.

Prior to fire department arrival, members of the Lafayette Police Dept and a civilian were inside the apartment building warning residents to get out.

Engine 25, Engine 24 and Car 172 arrived on scene, established command, and reported a three-story wood frame structure with heavy smoke and flames showing from the roof of the C-D corner of the building. Engine 24 laid a 5” supply line from the hydrant and established a positive water supply. Engine 25 OIC (officer in charge) pulled a 1 ¾” hand line to the front door. Command was advised by residents that there were possibly 3 subjects still entrapped inside the apartment complex. Car 180 and Car 171 arrived on scene.

Firefighters began a split attack of the structure consisting of a primary search for the occupants and a fire attack to protect occupants and firefighters. Car 172 firefighter breached a first-floor apartment door and removed one elderly male to the exterior of the building. Car 172 firefighter continued search operations after removing the first subject. A second attack line was put into place by Engine 24 FAO (fire apparatus operator).

Walker Car 5, Engine 1,Engine 14, Engine 20, and Hose 15 arrived on scene. Command was turned over to Car 5.

Engine 24 FAO was advised by a resident that there was possibly another subject entrapped in the rear left corner of a third-floor apartment. Firefighters were still involved in primary search operations. Engine 24 FAO deployed a 24’ extension ladder to the rear of the structure and completed VES (vent, enter, search) operation on the third-floor bedroom window. The victim was located inside the apartment by Engine 24 FAO and was extricated out of the window and down the ladder by personnel from Lafayette Fire and Walker Fire and Rescue. CPR was initiated immediately by emergency personnel.

Walker Company 8, and Catoosa 9 arrived on scene under command.

Primary search was completed with no other occupants located and the fire was brought under control. Crew members continued checking the structure to search for other hazards and to put out hot spots. And completed a secondary search. When all overhaul operations were complete, command was terminated, and all fire units returned to service.

During investigation by the Lafayette Police Department, the fire was determined to be arson and an arrest was made.

Sheenia Marie Chambers, 29, a resident on the third floor,admitted to intentionally setting the fire that killed the 19-year-old victim in an adjacent unit. She was taken into custody and is officially being charged with murder and arson.”

The family of the young woman Sierra Johnson killed in the LaFayette Apartment fire Saturday night say she had just turned 19 in May, had just graduated high school, gotten her learners permit and her 1st Apartment. They say she was there for just two weeks before the fire happened. A resident on the third floor next to hers, admitted to investigators to intentionally setting the fire and is being charged with murder and arson.

Sierra Johnson, 19 and Shennia Chambers, 29.

PREVIOUSLY: According to the LaFayette Police Department, One person was killed and eight families were displaced in a Saturday night fire at Carriage Hill Apartments located at 1135 Campbell Avenue. LaFayette City Fire, Walker Fire Rescue, Catoosa Fire, Trion Fire and Walker State Correctional all responded to the fire which came in at 11:14 p.m.. According to Public Safety Director Stacey Meeks, Arson is the cause and that Sheenia Marie Chambers, 29, a resident on the third floor, admitted to starting the fire in her own apartment. She is now being charged with first degree arson and murder. The victim was identified as Sierra Johnson, 19, of LaFayette. She was pulled from her apartment on a floor below the fire, but died of smoke inhalation, Meeks said. LaFayette Police officers arrived first and began getting people out of the burning apartments. The fire was limited to the three story Building-F in the apartment complex. The Red Cross provided the eight surviving families who had all their possessions destroyed with lodging for several nights. Meeks said, an elderly man was rescued by firefighters.

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