Caretaker Arrested After Children Pulled From Cutler Bay House Fire
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Cutler Bay man was arrested Wednesday after a fire broke out in a house where two children were left home alone.
Andrew Richard Sepulveda, 31, faces two counts of child neglect with great bodily harm, according to an arrest affidavit from Miami-Dade Police.
Investigators said Sepulveda left the children he was supposed to be caring for home alone at 10241 Martinique Drive in Cutler Bay.
The children were seriously injured in the fire that broke out just before 1 o’clock Wednesday.
“What he did, there’s absolutely no excuse,” Det. Roy Rutland said. “It’s clear based on his actions he’s responsible for what occurred here today.”
A 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy had to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center after suffering severe smoke inhalation.
Firefighters said the children were trapped inside the home in a room right next to the bedroom where the fire started.
“They were overcome with smoke,” Miami-Dade Fire Lt. Arnold Piedrahita, Jr. said. “They were unconscious, unresponsive, not breathing. Fire rescue crews worked these kids feverishly and were able to return a pulse and a blood pressure to these children.”
The children’s uncle, Moreese Moise, said their mother was at work, but that she arranged for a babysitter to take care of them.
“The kids weren’t supposed to be alone. As I know, myself, the kids, she pays for this dude to watch them,” Moise explained.
Police said Sepulveda was supposed to be watching them.
He lives in the Cutler Bay home with the kids.
Cops said he admitted he left the children to go to the grocery store.
“I can’t believe they left those two little kids home like that,” neighbor Corey Pelland told CBS 4’s Peter D’Oench.
Pelland watched as the children were rushed out of the home to the hospital where their relatives later gathered.
An uncle told CBS 4 News the children were doing better Wednesday night. He said they did not suffer any burns.
“Things happen, I understand that,” Moise said. “I just hope they’re ok.”
Arson investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire.
Depending on what they uncover, police said more charges could be pending.