ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The 23-year-old mother of two boys rescued and revived following an apartment fire will face child abuse charges.
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office charged Jeannetta Maclin on Friday with two counts of abuse/neglect of a child.
The boys, ages 2 and 5, were found lifeless in an first-floor apartment in the 800 block of Clara around 5 p.m. Thursday night. The smoke was so thick inside the burning first floor unit that firefighters said they couldn’t even see their own hands in front of them.
The two children were in cardiac arrest. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the first firefighters on the scene arrived just two minutes after the call came in and administered CPR on the boys outside the apartment complex until the paramedics reached the location. They were rushed to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and were up and talking within an hour. They remain in critical condition at the hospital ICU.
The children were alone in the house at the time of the fire. There were also no working smoke detectors inside the unit.
Investigators said Maclin left the boys home alone around 3 p.m. to go to her job in Creve Coeur. Firefighters said the fire originated on a couch in the living room, with an ashtray and lighter located nearby. It is believed one of the children found the lighter in a nearby end table and accidentally set the couch on fire.