Aunt Sentenced For Partying While Kids Died in Fire

Infant siblings killed in house fire after woman left kids alone in order to attend party

Friday, Jul 12, 2013  |  Updated 2:52 PM CDT
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2 Toddlers Killed in West Englewood Fire

Sisters Tatiana (left) and Britany Meakens were each charged with two counts of felony for endangering a child causing death and two counts of misdemeanor for endangering the life and health of a child.

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2 Toddlers Killed in West Englewood Fire

A 2-year-old and 3-year-old were killed early Saturday after being left alone in an apartment where a fire started. Michelle Relerford reports for NBC News at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012.
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The aunt of two children killed in a West Englewood fire in December was sentenced to five years in prison Friday.

Britany Meakens, 22, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child endangerment after pleading guilty to leaving them home to go to a party.

The children’s mother, Tatiana Meakens, who allegedly went to another party on the same night, pleaded not guilty to similar charges and remains in jail awaiting trial next month.

Javaris Meakens, 2, and his 3-year-old sister, Jariyah, were killed in the fire three days before Christmas in their apartment in the 6400 block of South Paulina. Autopsies determined both died from carbon-monoxide intoxication and inhalation of smoke and soot, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.

Two other children, a 7- and 4-year-old boy, survived the fire which erupted at 3:35 a.m., and were taken into the custody of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services,

A hot plate being used for heat in the apartment was believed to be the cause of the blaze.

Prosecutors said last December that the sisters had agreed Tatiana Meakens would watch the children so the kids' mother could attend a party, but court records show Tatatiana left for another party, even though she claims to have called her sister to let her know she was leaving.

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