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4 Alabama children die in fires; mother charged

MOBILE (AP) — Fires claimed the lives of four Alabama children within 24 hours, and the mother of two of the children was charged with manslaughter because she allegedly left them unattended while she went to work.

A fire in a room at the Bama Motel in Mobile at 3:40 a.m. Monday killed Mykal Watkins, 6, and his brother, Malik Watkins, 5, police spokesman Eric Gallichant said. Their mother, Jacinta Watkins, left them alone about 8 p.m. Sunday to go to work. She was located shortly after the fire and charged with two counts of manslaughter because her actions contributed to the deaths, Gallichant said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Another fire about 11 a.m. Sunday in a mobile home in the Joffre community, about 15 miles north of Prattville, killed two children ages 15 months and 3 years. Rescue workers said the father tried to rescue the children from a bedroom in the mobile home but was unable.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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