PARIS, Ark. — A 27-year-old Paris man was charged with first degree murder and arson December 22 in the death of a 2-year-old child, according to Arkansas State Police. 

Ricky Carter was arrested a day after the Paris Police Department responded to reports of an explosion in the 1700 block of South Elm Street.  When officers arrived in the area of the explosion, they noticed a home on fire.

An officer with the Paris Police Department entered the home and assisted Carter in carrying four children out of the burning home, according to a press release.  

Three of the children, as well as Carter, were uninjured.  But the 2-year-old child had to be transported to a local hospital, and was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.  

The investigation into the exact cause of the fire, including Carter’s role, is ongoing, according to police.  

Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting the investigation with assistance from the ASP Fire Marshal’s Section, the ASP Crimes against Children Division, the Paris Police Department and the Paris Fire Department.