Siblings of fire victims temporarily with family member

Published 6:22 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

Three children whose siblings perished in an apartment fire on the Fourth of July have been placed with a family member while Child Protective Services and law enforcement officers investigate the case.

Shari Pulliam, media specialist for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the children were all placed in the same household and the investigation could take 30 to 60 days.

The fire happened at Arthur Square Apartments while the mother of the children had taken another child to the hospital. Local media have identified the deceased children as Brooklyn McCray, 2, Brayden Handy, 6, and Jayden Pollard, 12.

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Final autopsy results were pending until lab results return, according to Port Arthur Fire Marshal Paul Washburn.

This is the second time locally that a fire has broken out when children were left alone. In May, an 11-year-old boy and his 12-year-old, physically handicapped brother were left alone in their Groves home in the 3200 block of Allison Avenue when a fire occurred.

The younger brother was able to tell emergency crews the location of his brother who was in a back bedroom. Firefighters were able to save the child seconds before the structure began to collapse.

Pulliam said CPS took custody of both boys in that case and they were placed in separate foster homes.

While Pulliam could not speak specifically on either case, she said that when CPS takes custody, siblings are allowed to visit and parents may visit as well.

There was also a recent fire in Hardin County where children were left alone.

“In the other two cases the children were lucky and were saved but in this case (Arthur Square Apartments) that’s not the final outcome,” she said. “We are urging parents please do not leave your young children home alone. Take them with you. If you can’t bring them have an adult supervising them at all times.”