2-year-old killed in fire was home without adult supervision, authorities say
Wed, 23 May 2012 13:39:21 GMT —
No adults were home at the time of a house fire that killed a 2-year-old child early Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The deceased child was originally called a "small baby" by fire officials but it has since been confirmed it was a 2-year-old child.
A 7-year-old boy was also injured and remains at Northwest Texas Hospital, Amarillo Fire Captain Wes Hall said. He was found in the kitchen area but was brought out still breathing. He is being treated for smoke inhalation, Hall said.
Three other children, ranging up to the age of 13, made it out safely, Hall said.
At about 12:50 a.m., fire officials were called to the 2400 block of Redwood on the report of a residential fire.
When firefighters arrived, they were told two children were still inside.
The 2-year-old was found dead a short time later in the back room, officials said.
Estimated damage, according to the fire department, was $50,000. 22 firefighters were called to the scene with seven fire units, officials said.
Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. An autopsy was ordered on the child. Prelimiary results dicated the child died because of smoke inhalation and soot.
"All crimes take a while for law enforcement to investigate," said District Attorney Randall Sims. "When there's a fire, it takes a little but longer than some of the more normal crimes. Kind of like a homicide, it takes longer than your usual day-to-day crimes."
"It's going to take a little but and then, eventually, I'm sure we'll be receiving some information here in our office," he added.
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there is no specific law in Texas that states how old a child can be to stay home alone and supervise other children. The law, according to TDFPS, states there are several factors that should be evaluated when leaving children home alone.
The Department of Protective Services said it is also helping with the investigation. It is working to make sure all children involved are getting the medical attention needed.