UPDATE: Mother Charged In Fire Death Of 2 Toddlers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Authorities in North Carolina say two toddlers left without adult supervision have died in a house fire, and their mother has been charged with murder.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman Bob Fey said in a news release that 26-year-old Orgal Opata was arrested Sunday afternoon. She also was charged with four counts of exposing a child to a fire.

In all, investigators say four children, ages 7, 4, 2 and 1, were in the house when the fire started early Sunday morning.

A neighbor was credited with getting the two older children out, but 2-year-old Josiah Hawthorne and 1-year-old Gabriel Hawthorne died. Investigators say the fire appears to be accidental.

Fey said he didn't know if Opata has an attorney.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Officials say two toddlers left at a North Carolina home with young siblings have died in a house fire.

The Charlotte Observer reports that 2-year-old Josiah Hawthorne and 1-year-old Gabriel Hawthorne died in the fire early Sunday morning.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police told the paper the two were home with a 4-year-old brother and a 7-year-old sister when the fire started before 6 a.m. Police say a neighbor rescued the two older children.

Investigators were still looking for the children's mother and were interviewing the survivors to determine who left them unsupervised.

Fire investigators say the blaze appears to be accidental.

Neighbor Juanita Edwards told the newspaper the family had lived in the house about a year.


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