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WICHITA, Kansas — What started out as a smoke alarm call lands a Wichita woman in jail for child endangerment when police say they discovered two young children in a smoke filled house.
Police believe the mother may have been intoxicated while asleep on the couch.
Matt Augustine was having a nice barbecue with his family Saturday evening when he saw flashing lights outside of his home.
“There was a firetruck and two police officers vehicles and so we just kind of stepped outside to see what was going on and there was a lot of activity,” said Matt Augustine, neighbor. “Picked up pretty quick.”
Fire crews were called out to a home in the 2300 block of S. Stoney Point after a monitored smoke alarm went off.
Firefighters arrived on scene and saw some smoke coming from the house.
They also saw something more when they looked through the window. Crews spotted a 1-year-old-boy crawling around inside of the home and a 4-year-old-boy.
Officers didn’t see any adults and that’s when they forced entry into the home to save the children.
“They’re not sure what was burning when they forced entry,” said Sgt. Bart Brunscheen, Wichita Police Department. “Turns out there was some, what’s described as meat or the meal was left on the stove and it was left cooking and it started to burn.”
The Wichita Fire Department believe had it continued to be left unattended it would have turned into a full house fire.
Police say the children were left unsupervised while the mother was passed out.
“They do find that the mother of the two children was asleep on the couch and they believe she was under the influence of something,” said Sgt. Brunscheen. “They just report they found her on the couch asleep, past out on some level of intoxication.”
Neighbors believe the situation could have turned deadly had it not been for the monitored smoke alarm.
“My wife and I we don’t have kids, but we can only imagine what it would be like being in the situation if our kids were endangered,” said Augustine. “I guess that’s why you have alarms. It’s good and it saved lives potentially.”
Police say the kids were not hurt after getting the all clear from medics at the scene.
The mother was arrested on two counts of aggravated child endangerment.