Harnett mother charged with deaths of her children

HARNETT COUNTY

The blaze broke out in the family home on February 14 in the Spout Springs community. 24-year-old mother, Echo Simmons, lived at the home with her three young children.

Investigators say Simmons left the children - Janaya Squires, age 6, Ariana Squire Simmons, age 3, and Kaliyah Simmons, age 20 months - home alone to take her mother home less than two-miles down the street when the fire started.

A neighbor spotted the fire just as the mother returned. Six-year-old Janaya Squires was standing outside. By the time fire fighters arrived at the scene the home was engulfed in flames. Ariana Squire Simmons, and Kaliyah Simmons died in the blaze.

Monday, Harnett County Sheriff's Office charged Echo with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of misdemeanor child abuse. Simmons was arrested and released on $ 5000 bond.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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