• St. Louis mom charged after 4 children left alone in apartment that caught on fire

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    ST. LOUIS -

    A St. Louis mother of four children who were rescued from a fire earlier this week was charged with four felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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    Crystal D. Ford, 27, was being held without bond, the newspaper reported.

    Firefighters rescued the four children -- all younger than 4 years old -- after the fire broke out Thursday afternoon, KMOV reported.

    St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said his firefighters did not know there were children in the burning apartment building until they found them, KTVI reported.

    When firefighters reached the second floor of the three-story flat, two children were hiding in a tent, one child was hiding in a closet and the other one was standing in a doorway, the television station reported. Officials said emergency responders found three of the children in cardiac arrest and revived them, the Post-Dispatch reported. All four children suffered from smoke inhalation.

    Extended family members identified Ford and Keith J. Witherspoon Jr., 33, as the children's parents, the newspaper reported.

    According to a probable cause statement filed Friday, Ford admitted to leaving the children in the residence unattended. Detective Julie Johnson said in court documents that the children were alone "for an extended period of time."

    The cause of the fire is unknown, KMOV reported.

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