A single mother from Illinois was charged with five counts of endangering a child after her five children, aged two to nine-years-old, died in a home fire after she left them alone. Details about the tragic case have many calling foul via social media, however. Here’s everything we know about the heartbreaking case, and why the charges against the mother have been so widely condemned.
Single Mother Of Five Charged In Fire Deaths
After her five children perished from a house fire while she was picking up her boyfriend from work, 34-year-old Sabrina M. Dunigan was charged with five counts of endangering a child. On August 6, Dunigan left her five children in the family’s second-floor apartment in order to pick her boyfriend up from work. At approximately 3am, a fire broke out in the home, tragically taking the lives of Dunigan’s five children.
Dunigan’s parents, Greg and Vanicia Mosely, also lived in the same apartment building in a unit separated from Dunigan’s by a kitchen. The two were home at the time of the fire and revealed in an interview with a local newspaper that they’d fallen asleep while watching the children in their own living space and by the time they woke, the fire had already started.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Though the flames prevented them from reaching the children, Greg and Vanicia were able to escape the burning home through a second-story window. It should also be noted that Vanicia is blind. In a truly heartbreaking twist of irony, all five children passed away on Dunigan’s birthday.
Conflicting Details From Neighbors, Landlord
Though the landlord, a retired police officer, insisted that all his buildings were fitted with smoke detectors, the Dunigan family, as well as a neighbor who lived in the basement unit of the apartment, said that there weren’t. The neighbor, Kenneth Jennings, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “I thought there was a fight upstairs. I heard a lot of commotion with hollering and screaming. Then I smelled smoke and ran out.”
Reaction On Social Media
The charges against Dunigan come more than two months after her children’s death, which some have called particularly cruel. While some responders on social media believed the punishment was fitting, others remarked on the absolute tragic nature of both the senseless deaths of so many children as well as their mother’s cruel treatment.
It cannot be denied that five young lives were cut short and that this tragic accident could have been avoided if one of the adults in the situation had acted differently. No doubt everyone involved will spend the rest of their lives replaying that night and wondering what they could have changed to save even one life. Does charging the mother in this case count as justice? This sad case is still ongoing and we will update as more information becomes available.