Four Children Die in Mississippi Mobile Home Fire

PICKENS, Miss. (AP) -- Authorities were investigating a weekend fire that killed four children in Pickens.

Officials say the children's mother, Chearl Triblett, left home early Saturday. The children were left in the care of Triblett's 17-year-old son, who also died in the mobile home fire, said John Haynes, police chief in Pickens, which is north of Jackson.

Rashad Lacy, 17; Laronda Triblett, 13; Ron Triblett, 8; and Gracianna Triblett, 2, died of smoke inhalation in the fire, said Haynes. The fire was reported at 3:50 a.m. by a Clarion-Ledger newspaper carrier, Haynes said.

The fire brings to 15 the number of Yazoo and Holmes county children who have died in house fires in just over two years after being left home alone by their mothers.

Chearl Triblett, 38, told police she was at her boyfriend's house in Lexington to discuss what Christmas gifts they were going to purchase for the children, Haynes said. No charges have been filed, and Haynes said he doubts charges will be filed against the mother.

``We are still investigating it,'' Haynes said. ``We are going to talk with the boyfriend and the father of the children to see if they can corroborate her story.''

Holmes County District Attorney James Powell said he has not discussed the case with law enforcement and does not know if he will pursue charges against Chearl Triblett.

Officials have not determined the exact cause of the fire, but Haynes said Chearl Triblett spliced a wire from an old heater earlier this week to repair another space heater.

``It looks like it's going to be faulty wiring of the electric heater,'' Haynes said. ``She put it in the children's bedroom about 1:30 (a.m.) when she left. It was the only source of heat in the house.''