Tragic fire at Jackie’s Day Care in Houston kills 3 children, injures 4

Thursday Feb 24, 2011: Despite Houston firefighters‘ heroic efforts yesterday, a fire at a home based day care left 3 young children dead and four hospitalized: all of the children were aged between 18 months and 3-years. Houston Fire Department Assistant Chief Bill Barry said that some of the children suffered burns, others suffered smoke inhalation. Firefighters carried 5 of 7 seven children from inside the burning house, which is known as Jackie’s Child Care and located at 2810 Crest Park Lane near Richmond and South Eldridge Parkway in far west Houston.

Per state child care rules, the owner/operator of the day care Jessica Rene Tata should not have been caring for more than six children over the age of 18 months. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will most likely investigate that and other issues. Fire crews were alerted to the fire at 1:35PM and when they arrived found flames and smoke billowing from the house: 2 of the children were outside and 5 were still trapped inside.

Michael McAnders, a witness to the tragedy who lives nearby, said 22-year old Tata was standing outside the structure during the fire and screaming for the children. McAndrews said Tata had stated she went to the bathroom and came out to find the kitchen on fire. He said he overheard Tata saying she carried 2 of the kids out and told the remaining 5 young kids to crawl out. Tata tried going back in to reach a third child but was driven back by the smoke and flames before passing out prior to firefighters arriving.

The 7 children involved have not been identified. One child was taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest and another to Memorial Hermann Memorial City. Those children died. Three other children were taken to Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital. Of those three, one child was transported to Shriner’s Hospital burn center in Galveston in critical condition. The other two children were taken to West Houston Medical Center and one was later transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital. Tata was placed on a gurney and taken to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

The Houston Chronicle has reported that exactly one year before the fire Tata’s day care operation, which is registered with the State as a “child care home” was cited by the Dept of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing division for not having a fire extinguisher or carbon monoxide sensor on site. Tata has told of these defects on February 24, 2010 which was about 3-days before she opened the facility for business. These problems were later corrected according to Gwen Carter, a DFPS spokeswoman.

The Houston Fire Department confirmed the fire started in the kitchen, but the cause of the fire is not yet known. God bless those little children and their families as they attempt to cope with this tragedy.

A tragic fire at Jackie's Child Care in Houston claimed the lives of 3 small children and injured 4 more.