A 34-year-old mother was charged in the tragic deaths of her children after she allegedly left them in their apartment to pick up her boyfriend from work.
Sabrina Dunigan from Illinois left her five children unattended on August 6 at around 3 am when a fire broke out.
They were identified as Loy-el Dunigan, 2, Jabari Johnson, 4, twins Neveah and Heaven Dunigan, 8, and Deontae Davis, 9.
According to reports, the mother was charged with five felony counts of endangering the life of a child resulting in death.
Dunigan then saw her apartment being swallowed by fire after she came back home. Sadly, she was not able to save her children and had suffered from burns as a result of her unsuccessful attempt to run inside.
Responders from the East St. Louis Fire Department found the bodies of two children inside a bedroom and the other three were unresponsive on the kitchen floor. Two of them died while being taken outside and the other passed away on the way to hospital.
Speaking to KMOV-TV, Assistant Fire Chief George McClellan of the East St. Louise Fire Department said: “They are blameless in this. They’re just kids. It’s tough.”
The apartment was divided into two parts. Sabrina and her five children were living in the front while her father Greg Dunigan and his wife Vanicia Moseley, who is blind, were in the back.
Greg and Vanicia jumped off the back of the apartment when he smelled smoke.
Vanicia’s sister Shontice told the St. Louis Dispatch that the couple could not return to save the kids because the blaze was too strong in the front area of the apartment.
Speaking to the Post-Dispatch, Dunigan slammed the charges and said: “Why are they trying to do this to her? She done lost all she can lose already.
“Why they want to take the rest away, meaning herself? She don’t have nothing left.”
The building landlord, Rudy McIntosh, told Fox2Now: “The bottom line is she left her babies at home with something burning and set the building on fire.”
McIntosh claims that Dunigan had told him that she had left a candle in the flat at the time of the fire and that the kids may have started it but the cause has still not been determined.
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