Storms possible this weekend

Man arrested for first-degree murder in death of toddler after house explosion

PARIS, Ark. - Authorities say a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and first-degree murder in the death of a toddler who died after a house explosion in western Arkansas.

Arkansas State Police said Friday that 27-year-old Ricky Carter was arrested. Jail records show Carter is in custody in the Logan County jail and do not list an attorney for him.

State police say the two-year-old child was pronounced dead Thursday at a hospital after the explosion in Paris, about 90 miles northwest of Little Rock.

"I was sitting in the front room and I heard this terrible racket and I thought somebody had had a wreck," said neighbor Lois Hutchins. "I got up looked and couldn't see nothing, then I looked over there and saw that porch laying on the ground."

Police say Paris police found the house on fire early Thursday and an officer entered the home and helped Carter carry four children outside. Three of the children and Carter, who lived in the home, were not injured.

KFSM reports the mother of the children was at work when the incident happened.