Two fires in the last month claim 5 children in West Allis
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
WEST ALLIS - Two fires in a month that have claimed five children's lives have the community of West Allis taking notice.
Two teenage boys died in a house fire at 57th and Mitchell in March.
Authorities revealed the three victim's in Thursdays' fire were also children, ages 4 and 5. In both cases, the children were left home alone.
Karen Raasch lives two doors down from where siblings Nayeli, Adrian and Alex lived. Firefighters found their bodies in a bedroom on the second floor.
"It really hurts when you see this happen."
Their mother was not home, nor were any other adults. She is being held in police custody. Raasch doesn't understand why the mother wasn't there.
"This is just where it doesn't make sense because the little we saw of her, she just didn't seem...that she would ever leave a child alone," said Raasch, recalling how the mother seemed actively involved with her children and attentive to their needs.
Neighbors hope it's the last time they have to hear about such a tragedy.
"How can these things keep going on?" asked Karen Genrich.
David Reske said his own kids have raised questions about safety, hearing the stories of other children dying.
"My kids start to question do our smoke detectors work? Should we change the batteries dad..is it time you know?"
Neighbors hope the loss and heartache of two families are enough to start a conversation among other parents and families, to teach their children about fire safety and a plan, no matter how young and to think twice about leaving their children unattended.
"As far as the safety goes, some people you can't change. They're going to do what they do. But I hope people do take a second look at what they're doing and not take their children for granted."