Aunt arrested after toddler dies in house fire

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HARLAN COUNTY, KY (WYMT/CNN) – Police say when a woman left two children home alone while she went to watch go-kart races, a fire started at the home, resulting in the death of a 3-year-old boy.

Amanda Brock, the caretaker and aunt of the 3-year-old, was arrested early Sunday in connection with the fire. She is charged with second-degree manslaughter and first-degree wanton endangerment.

Police say the fire started just before 9 p.m. Saturday while the toddler and Brock’s 11-year-old son were home alone. Brock was in another county at the time.

The 11-year-old went to tell a neighbor about the fire, but by the time the two made it back, the home was destroyed, authorities say.

“By the time the 11-year-old got up to the neighbor’s house and told them that their house was on fire, the neighbor went straight over to the residence, and by the time she got to the residence, it was fully engulfed with smoke and fire,” said Shane Jacobs with the Kentucky State Police.

The 3-year-old died in the fire.

Police say this is an extremely difficult time for family and for first responders.

“Well, it’s just a very sad situation. Anytime you have a small child involved in this, it’s very tragic, not only for the family to lose such a small child but as first responders, you show up to a scene like this, and it affects everyone,” Jacobs said.

Police are still trying to determine how the fire started.

“We have contacted our arson investigator to have them come to the scene to try to figure out exactly the cause of the fire. Was it an accidental fire, or was there something that occurred here?” Jacobs said.

The body of the 3-year-old will be sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.

Copyright 2018 WYMT, Kentucky State Police via CNN. All rights reserved.

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