Metro East mother charged after 5 children killed in apartment fire


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The mother of five children who were killed in an apartment fire in August was charged Wednesday with five counts of child endangerment.

Sabrina M. Dunigan, 34, was charged through the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office. Her bond was set at $75,000.

The fire happened in an apartment building located in the 500 block of 29th Street in East St. Louis, Illinois Aug. 6. It started after Dunigan went to pick up another adult from work around 3:45 a.m., according to the East St. Louis Fire Department.

When she returned home, the mother tried to get the children out herself, but she was unsuccessful. It is unclear if the building had working smoke alarms.

Four of the children died at the scene and one died at a hospital.

Court documents accuse Dunigan of knowingly causing or permitting a child to be placed in circumstances that endangered the child’s life or health.

Deontay Davis, Jr., 9, twins Heaven and Nevaeh, 8, Jabari Johnson, 4, and Loyal Dunigan, 2 were laid to rest Aug. 21.

Child endangerment is a Class 3 felony and she could face up to five years in prison per count.

Dunigan is currently not in custody.

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