Investigators: Minneapolis mom not home during fire that killed 3 kids

Investigators said the mother of 3 children who died in a fire on Penn Avenue N. in Minneapolis in early October was not home when the flames broke out. Latorious, 6, Latoria, 5, and Latorianna, 1, were all killed in the fire, which officials said started in the kitchen where the oven was being used for heat.

According to a search warrant application filed in Hennepin County Court on Friday by Minneapolis police Sgt. Sean McKenna: The children’s mother, Taneisha Stewart, “showed no signs of having been inside the burning dwelling. She had no soot on her person, nor a noticeable smell of smoke. She was not coughing, short of breath, or exhibiting any signs of smoke inhalation. She did not require any emergency medical assistance."

The investigator noted Stewart smelled of alcohol.

“Your affiant does not believe Ms. Stewart was present inside the home at the time of the fire. The lack of a competent adult inside the home with three sleeping juveniles under the age of seven is a factor in the deaths of the children.”

The search warrant application said Thomas told investigators her home did not have a working furnace and she was heating the home with an electric kitchen stove with the door open. She said she had done this at a prior residence in Chicago, and “never had a problem.” The Minneapolis home did have working smoke detectors.