Mother charged with homicide in fatal fire surrenders to police

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A North Versailles mother who detectives had said left her two young sons home alone when a deadly fire swept through their apartment surrendered to Allegheny County police Wednesday alongside her attorney, who said she is anguished by the loss of her children.

Kiaira Pollard, 27, was charged with two counts of homicide, child endangerment and tampering with a fire apparatus, as police said she routinely left her boys, KiDonn, 7, and KrisDon, 4, home alone in an apartment that had a disconnected smoke detector.

Police said such was the case about 2:30 a.m. June 30, when the fatal fire sparked and officers found KiDonn dead and KrisDon unresponsive inside the family's unit in the Eastland Apartments. KrisDon died the next day. Police said Ms. Pollard was at work as an exotic dancer when the fire started. They said she rushed to the scene, pretending a baby sitter had left the boys alone.

But detectives said there was no baby sitter and it was Ms. Pollard who left the boys unattended for hours before the blaze. They issued a warrant for her arrest on Tuesday and sought the public's help when she did not surrender until about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at county police headquarters.

Lt. Andrew Schurman of the homicide unit would not say whether she provided detectives with new information.

"This is a tragedy for all involved," said Ms. Pollard's attorney, Fred Rabner, who accompanied her to police headquarters and later to the county jail. Mr. Rabner said she has been too distraught to provide him many facts about the case.

Despite the charges, he said, "She is also a mother of two children. No matter what she did or did not do, she lost her babies."

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

-- Sadie Gurman


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