WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- West Allis police released on Wednesday, July 24th its final reports on two fatal fires that happened in their city earlier this year. Both fires involved the deaths of children.
The first was a duplex fire in March near 57th and Lapham. Two 14-year-old boys died in that fire. No adults were home at the time -- and the fire was ruled accidental.
The second fire happened in April near 78th and Hicks. Five-year-old Nayeli Colon and her brothers, four-year-old twins Adrian and Alexis, died in that fire. The children were locked in an upstairs bedroom while their mother, Angelica Belen, was at work. Belen now faces felony charges of child neglect.
The newly-released reports say Belen initially told police her sister was supposed to be babysitting -- and she never locked her kids in the room. But later, she said those were lies.
Reports also reveal prior complaints made to the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare about Belen's parenting. The complaint says the "home was reported to be filthy," "the children have been seen eating out of the garbage," and Belen was seen "leaving her three children alone at home."
The family had been meeting with an in-home case manager once a week. During a visit in February they "discussed proper supervision and how the children should, under no circumstances, be left alone."
Belen eventually admitted to police that she locked her children in the room because she didn't want them to hurt themselves or start a fire. She also said she was "afraid that they may get outside and cause the police or social services to be called."
Before the fire, Belen was facing six charges of child neglect for allegedly leaving her children home alone and in a car in a parking lot. She is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Friday, July 25th.