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.