Mother charged after 1-year-old home alone dies in house fire

- A 1-year-old girl died in a house fire in Romulus. Now, months later, the child's mother is being charged in connection with her death.

Prosecutors say Shavonne Watkins' two toddlers were home alone when a fire broke out in the house. Firefighters arrived and found a 3-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl trapped inside, while an adult was nowhere to be found.

The fire happened in October at the home in the 15 thousand block of Mountain Way, which is near Eureka and Middlebelt roads.

Firefighters were able to get both children out. The little girl died from her injuries and her brother suffered bad smoke inhalation. The boy has since made a full recovery. 

Watkins now faces an involuntary manslaughter charge and a child abuse charge. She was arraigned on those charges Monday morning. Her mother was in court to support her. 

"The whole family is suffering through all of this and we're just going to stay strong. I'm going to support my daughter; we can't bring my baby girl back. It's a shame that this one mistake cost her her life, but we can't bring her back, but I'm going to support my daughter. She does have the support of her family," says Watkins' mother, Cheryl Watkins.

Cheryl also told FOX 2 she plans to help her daughter post bail so she can be home for Christmas with her children. Shavonne has a third child, too, who was not involved in the fire. Both surviving children have been staying with Shavonne's mother.

A GoFundMe account has been started, CLICK HERE to donate. For more information on the funeral arrangements, CLICK HERE.


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