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Illinois Woman, 25, Charged in Fire Deaths of Eight Children

<i> Associated Press</i>

A woman was charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter Monday, one for each child she is accused of leaving alone before a house fire killed them.

Camilla Foulks, 25, also was charged with one count each of reckless conduct and endangering the life or health of a child.

The fire Aug. 14 killed eight children, all related and ranging in age from 5 months to 7 years. An 8-year-old girl, whose identity has not been disclosed, was the sole survivor.

Police said Foulks, mother of three of the victims, was supposed to have been baby-sitting the children, but was at a bar when her bungalow caught fire.

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Jackson County State’s Atty. Mike Wepsiec said authorities have issued a summons for Foulks to appear in court on Sept. 12. He said she would not be arrested before then because she is not considered a flight risk and because she is still mourning the loss of her children, who were buried Friday.

A conviction on an involuntary manslaughter charge carries a penalty of three to seven years in prison. The remaining charges are misdemeanors with maximum sentences of 364 days in jail.

Fire Chief Clifford Manis said the fire probably was started by children playing with a lighter or matches and may have smoldered for an hour.


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