Fourth Child Dies After Day Care Fire in Houston
Police investigate whether operator had gone shopping beforehand
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2011 4:52 PM CST
Emergency personnel respond to the Houston day care fire.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen)

(Newser) – A fourth child died today after a day care fire in Houston last week, as police investigate whether the woman who operated it out of her home left the kids unsupervised while she went shopping, reports KTRK-TV. Three other toddlers were injured, and two of them remain hospitalized. "There's no question she went shopping," a law enforcement source tells the Houston Chronicle. "They're trying to determine exactly when she returned, although it was a very close proximity (in time) to the fire."

Two witnesses say the woman, 22-year-old Jessica Tata, arrived home with groceries and immediately began screaming for help when she entered the house. Tata hasn't been charged, and she was briefly hospitalized for injuries she got while pulling the kids out. Her brother denies she ever left the house. All the kids were between 18 months and 3 years old. AOL News has a roundup here.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Feb 27, 2011 1:36 PM CST
I'm not understanding how it is possible for her to care for that many children at one time. Am I counting wrong? 4 Children died, 3 injured and then two others. So 9 all together correct? Did parents seriously leave nine babies/toddlers with one woman? My heart goes to the parents of the children, who are in my thoughts and prayers.
Feb 27, 2011 12:36 AM CST
God. Shoot me--this is beyond survivable for a parent. The one thing Sarah Palin said that I agree with is that courage is getting out of bed everyday when you've lost a child.
Feb 26, 2011 9:08 PM CST