Investigators seek witnesses to fatal Rosedale house fire

October 19, 1991|By Sheridan Lyons and Sandra Crockett | Sheridan Lyons and Sandra Crockett,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

Baltimore County fire investigators sought witnesses yesterday to a fire that killed two children who apparently were left alone Thursday in their Rosedale home.

And police and prosecutors said they would consider filing criminal charges against the children's mother, who police said was at a doctor's appointment when the fire began.

The mother, Jennifer Grant, remained under psychiatric care at Franklin Square Hospital yesterday, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Ms. Grant, 34, became hysterical at the fire scene Thursday and attacked police and firefighters, he said. Investigators were awaiting her doctors' approval to interview her.

Firefighters found the bodies of 3-year-old Chakia Ilishima Eugena Hall and her 1-year-old brother, Shakir Tarik Hall, Thursday afternoon in an upstairs bedroom of their house in the 6100 block of St. Regis Road, said Battalion Chief Ralph A. Nelson. He said the children apparently died of smoke inhalation.

The fire started in a pile of clothes in the kitchen, but its cause hadn't yet been determined, Chief Nelson said.

Arson was not suspected and no one else was believed to have been in the house, he said.

Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst, chief of the Circuit Court Division, said the office would review the case after police complete their investigation.

Earlier yesterday, police spokesman E. Jay Miller said a small amount of what police suspect is cocaine was found in an upstairs bedroom and would be analyzed.

The neighbor who called in the report of smoke coming from a window said he thought the house was vacant, and most neighbors contacted yesterday said they didn't know Ms. Grant.

Kevin Brogden, 14, who lives on the same block, said he was coming home from school Thursday when he "started seeing all this smoke."

"I ran down here and was going to call, when I heard the sirens. I saw them take her [Ms. Grant] away. She just dropped. She was going crazy."

The children's father, Anthony Clifford Hall, 31, was out of town at the time of the fire, reportedly either in Washington or Jamaica. Chief Nelson and Sergeant Doarnberger said that Mr. Hall had been notified of the fire and was returning home.

Ms. Grant has an older son, Charles Grant, 16, who lives in Jamaica with relatives.

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