The mother and the aunt of two infants killed in a fire in West Englewood have been charged after they allegedly left the children home alone, Chicago Police announced on Sunday.
Tatiana Meakens, 23, and Britany Meakens, 22, each face two felony counts of child endangerment and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the health of a child, according to a police statement. Police identified Tatiana as the mother of the two children who were killed--- Javaris Meakens, 2, and his 3-year-old sister, Jariyah. Britany is the aunt of the two kids, police said. Both women are expected to appear in bond court Monday.
Authorities believe there was no adult supervision when a fire erupted early Saturday at an apartment building in the 6400 block of South Paulina. Firefighters arrived at 3:25 a.m. to find flames shooting from a side bedroom window on the first floor of the building, where Javaris and Jariyah were trapped, authorities said. Crews sawed off the bars from a basement window in an effort to rescue the two children, authorities said, but it was too late.
Two boys — Darnell, 7, and Marquis, 4 — were rescued from the burning building by a relative and were under the care of state welfare workers, authorities said.
A hot plate being used for heat in the first-floor apartment may have sparked the blaze on one of the chilliest nights this season, authorities said, adding that the fire was believed to be an accident.
Child welfare workers are investigating allegations of neglect against both the aunt and the mother of the two children who died in the fire, said DCFS spokesman Jimme Whitelow.
An autopsy conducted Sunday determined that Javaris and Jariyah died from carbon-monoxide intoxication and inhalation of smoke and soot from the fire, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.
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