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Mother, aunt charged over fire deaths of two home-alone toddlers

Police have charged the mother and aunt of two toddlers who were killed in an apartment fire in a Chicago suburb.

Early Saturday morning, 2-year-old Jaryiah and 3-year-old Jarvis Meakens were left alone with two other children when a fire broke out. The two toddlers died in the blaze.

Their mother Tatiana Meakens, 23, and aunt Britany Meakens, 22, of Englewood, were each charged with two counts of felony for endangering a child causing death and two counts of misdemeanor for endangering the life and health of a child, according to a police press release.

Both were called in for questioning after police discovered the two had left four children alone to attend a party, police said.

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The two children who survived - a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy - were taken into the custody of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, while authorities conducted their investigation.

Saturday night, friends, neighbors, and members of the community mourned the loss of the two toddlers with a vigil and balloon release.

Tatiana and Britany are scheduled to appear in bond court on Monday.