3 toddler siblings burnt alive in blaze after mother locked home to go drinking as neighbors watched helplessly
The horrific fire engulfed the home claimed the lives of Diogo Monteiro, 4, his brother Caio, 2, and baby sister eight-month-old Vitoria Sofia
Three children were burnt alive while being trapped in a house blaze after their mother allegedly locked them inside and went out to drink. On December 19, a horrific fire engulfed the home in Rio Branco, Brazil, and claimed the lives of Diogo Monteiro, four, his brother Caio, two, and baby sister eight-month-old Vitoria Sofia, The Sun reported. According to local reports, neighbors heard their petrified screams but couldn't rescue the helpless kids as the house was padlocked. Unfortunately, the home was being ripped apart by flames by the time firefighters arrived at the Portal da Amazonia neighborhood, per G1 Globo. Doctors reportedly broke down in tears when the dead siblings were brought in. 23-year-old Jociane Monteiro, their mother, was subsequently arrested and taken to the Flagrant Police Station.
The deadly flames may have been sparked by a short circuit in a fan, investigators believe. Several photos reportedly showed how the house -- of about 12 sq m (129 sq ft) -- was completely destroyed by the roaring blaze. Children's clothes lay on the charred floor amid fallen blackened beams. The photos also show the heavy front door bolted with a metal padlock and chain. Responding firefighters were able to stop the flames from spreading to neighboring properties. Monteiro, however, was allowed to be released. Judge Marcelo Coelho Carvalho, of the Court of Justice, explained that the mother was to be granted "provisional release" from custody as a "precautionary measure" due to the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, and will later face trial for neglect, AC24 Horas reported.
According to the outlet, Monteiro has decided to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination under constitutional law. "During interrogation, Jociane showed no emotional reaction," Investigator Yvens Moreira told reporters. "[She] did not cry, did not ask about the children or what had happened to them. She just declared that she would be silent."
Earlier this year, MEAWW reported how a 21-year-old mother from Montana was convicted of negligent homicide in the death of her toddler son's 2018 hot car death. Ashley Howard was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison on October 19, two months after jurors found her responsible for her 2-year-old son's death. A judge had ruled that Howard would serve her sentence in the Montana State Women's Prison in Billings. She has already spent two years in jail and will get credit for the same. Howard had earlier pleaded not guilty to the negligent homicide of her son, Caleb Hopkins, who had been left inside the car in June 2018. According to The Billings Gazette, Howard had left Caleb inside the car on the evening of June 25, 2018, and did not go to take him out until 1 pm the next day. The police revealed that she had spent the night partying with her friends and then slept in the next day due to a hangover. Her son Caleb was left inside her car for around 14 hours, out of which the sun was blazing for 8 hours. On June 26, the child was rushed to the hospital where doctors recorded his body temperature at 107 degrees. Heatstroke starts at 104 degrees.
While at the hospital, Howard told doctors that she had found Caleb "wrapped in a blanket." He passed away two days later and spent his final hours on life support. It was reported that the child had died from hyperthermia caused by overheating.