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Mom, Aunt Charged in Deaths of Kids in House Fire

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CHICAGO (AP) - A judge has set $100,000 bail for the mother and aunt of two children who died in a Chicago apartment fire.

Prosecutors on Monday alleged that 23-year-old Tatiana Meakens and 22-year-old Britany Meakens left four children alone in an apartment heated by space heaters and a hot plate while they went to parties.

Police say four children were in the apartment when the fire started early Saturday. Two-year-old Javaris Meakens and 3-year-old Jariyah Meakens died. Two boys, ages 7 and 4, escaped.

The children’s mother, Tatiana, and their aunt, Britany, each are charged with felony child endangerment and endangering the life and health of a child.

The women’s defense attorney says the apartment’s landlord had turned off their heat.

Police say a hot plate may have started the fire.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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