Gary, IN — Three small children, ages 2-5, were killed in a deadly fire at Oak Knoll Renaissance Apartments in Gary, Indiana on the day before Christmas. Their names were Jayden Mitchell, Alaya Pickens, and their cousin Yaleah Cohen. Both parents were home during the incident, and both the father and mother were also reportedly seriously injured.
The mother of the children told reporters, “I feel so horrible because I know my baby was calling out to me wondering where I was when I was just right there beside him and we got separated. And he couldn’t find me and I couldn’t see him through all the black smoke and stuff.”
She says that her husband tried to save the other children but was unsuccessful.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but the family thinks that they were targeted with a Molotov cocktail through their window. Police, however, say they are still investigating what happened.
Yolanda Mitchell, the children’s grandmother, said she had been at the house Friday night, playing with the kids. She recalled how the children begged her to let them open one Christmas gift early. She says she left around 10pm, and shortly after, there were calls for help after neighbors who reported the fire. She too is devastated.