WEBSTER, Texas— An apartment fire that killed three children has been ruled accidental, according to the Webster Fire Department.
Dana Novak, her four kids and her two brothers were at their home in the Skylar Point Apartments in the 1200 block of El Camino Village when the fire broke out early Thursday morning.
Firefighters arrived around 4:40 a.m. to find the building completely engulfed in flames.
Firefighters said Novak ran out of her burning apartment carrying her 4-year-old son, Nicholas, then attempted to go back in for the others. Firefighters joined in, pulling two kids from the inferno, but one of the children remained missing.
Novak was taken to Clear Lake Regional Hospital for treatment. Her injuries were not life-threatening. Her 5-year-old son, Nathaniel, was taken to Memorial Hermann and put on life support, but he died on Friday.
Twelve-year-old Kaitlyn, a student at Space City Intermediate, and 8-year-old Christian, who attended Armond Bayou Elementary, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Novak’s brothers made it out safely.
Five units were completely destroyed.
Residents of the complex said there have been a number of fires there in the past that also started in the attic.
They blamed the management company, Bell Properties.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Bell Properties expressed their condolences to the family.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire that occurred here in the early morning of November 11, 2010. Our sincere sympathies go out to the families and those affected. We are very thankful to the Webster Fire Department who responded to the emergency. They are in charge of the investigation and we are referring all inquiries to them. Our greatest concern is taking care of the needs of our residents who have been affected by this tragedy."
Family members said there was only one smoke alarm in the home, but it was downstairs – not upstairs where the family was sleeping.
Multiple agencies worked the scene, including the Webster Fire Department, Webster Police Department, League City Fire Department, Nassau Bay Fire Department, Forrest Bend Fire Department and CLEMC.
Estella Olguin with Child Protective Services said before the fire, a report was filed against the mother.
"The report indicated there were some allegations of the home environment and some possible drug use in the home," said Olguin.
But after an emergency court hearing and a lack of evidence, 4-year old Nicholas was returned to his family.