8-month-old girl died in house fire while mother was out at nightclub: police
An 8-month-old girl died and five other young children were injured in a house fire while the victim's mothers were partying with friends, police say.
Jream Jenkins perished in a blaze at her home in Antioch, Tenn., early Sunday morning while her mother and a friend, identified as the mother of four of the children rescued from the burning home, were allegedly out at a nightclub.
Jream's 23-month-old brother remains hospitalized in critical condition after sustaining serious injuries in the fire, the Tennessean reports.
The Nashville Fire Department first received reports of a fire at the Hickory Lake Apartments on Sunday around 2:00 a.m., when passersby spotted a 6-year-old child running from the home and called 911, according to a press release.
First responders found heavy smoke and flames coming from one of the units and rescued one person from a third-floor balcony before learning from people at the scene that several small children were trapped inside the burning apartment.
Firefighters searched the unit for the children and were able to rescue four of them, all between the ages of 1 and 6. They were rushed to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital with varying degrees of injuries, while baby Jream was declared dead at the scene.
Fire officials later discovered another 5-year-old child at the scene, who was taken to Vanderbilt for treatment. The children's mothers, ages 23 and 25, returned to the apartment complex after firefighters and police officers had already arrived.
According to an arson investigator, a candle, which was found in one of the corners of the room where Jream died, started the blaze.
The infant's mother and her friend allegedly told police that a babysitter was supposed to be at home watching the children while they were out, but police say no babysitter was found at the scene when officials arrived. Detectives are currently working to verify the two mother's claims.
A woman who identified herself as baby Jream's mother later took to Facebook to share a video of herself tearfully disputing the police account of the tragic night.
"I love my kids, I love my kids so much," she can be heard struggling to say in footage obtained by WTVF. "That's my only little girl, I love that little girl more than I love my life."
She also called the fire a "terrible accident" and said she was mourning her loss.