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2 children die in West Englewood house fire

Police are questioning the relatives of two toddlers who died in a house fire  in West Englewood Saturday.

The victims have been identified as 3-year-old Jariyah and 2-year-old Javaris  Meakens.

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Bail was set at $100,000  each for two women charged in connection with the deaths of two children in a house

Police say the mother and aunt of two children killed left four young children unsupervised on Saturday night.

Tatiana Meakens,  23, whose two children died, and  Britany Meakens, 22, face felony child endangerment and other charges.

Their four children, ranging in age from 2 to 7, were left alone in the home on 64th and Paulina, when flames swept through their bedroom.

The fire may have been sparked by a hot-plate used to heat the bedroom.

Local News
12/24/12

Mom, aunt charged in deadly fire

A mother and aunt have been charged in connection to the deadly fire that claimed the lives of two children early Saturday morning.

chi-englewood-fire-victims-20121222Britany Meakens, 22, and Tatiana Meakens, 23, of the 6400 block of S. Paulina, have each been charged with two felony counts of endangering a child causing death and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the life/health of a child, according to  Chicago Police News Affairs.

Both women are due in court this morning at 26th and California.

The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. Saturday when four young children were left alone at their home.   

Two of the children, ages four and seven, were able to escape.  The other two children, 3-year-old Jariyah and 2-year-old Javaris Meakens, were killed. The surviving children are in the custody of DCFS.

According to arrest reports, Tatiana is the mother of the two children that were killed.  Britany Meakens, who resides at the same location, is the aunt of the children.

Police are questioning the relatives of two toddlers who died in a house fire in West Englewood Saturday.

The victims have been identified as 3-year-old Jariyah and 2-year-old Javaris Meakens.

According to police, there were no adults supervising the children as they slept at a home on South Paulina Street along with two other children—a 4-year-old and 7-year-old. The two older kids made it out alive before smoke consumed the entire home.

Alderman Toni Foulkes, 15th Ward, said “It was four children total, two ran down to a neighbor’s house and that’s how they found out about the fire.”

Investigators say it appears the fire started in the bedroom.  A hot plate was being used to heat the room when it fell on some clothes and started the blaze.  The family who lives next door says the fire spread quickly.

Isaac Smith said, “It was scary cause it was black smoke was all in our house. We didn’t know what was going on.”

Outside the home, a memorial was set up for the two young victims.  Some neighbors expressed outrage at reports the children had been left alone for the night with no adult in the home.

“You have to take care of your kids,” neighbor Ken Allison said.

Saturday, firefighters passed out free smoke detectors to neighbors.  Investigators say there were no working smoke detectors anywhere in the building.

As for the investigation– the fire department is forwarding all questions to the police.

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