Deadly Fires

Shut-Off Gas Service Adds to Danger

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

Utilities, gas, light and water are the foundation for what you need to live in a house or apartment.   Gas and lights can be very expensive, especially when individuals don't take into account their cost.  

A couple of years ago, I played utilities roulette with the light company.   And guess what they did.   Yup, they cut my lights off!  It was right before the December date where the utilities have to "freeze" disconnection of service.   I came home from work and I noticed immediately that my garage door wouldn't open.   So I went to the front thinking that a fuse had blown.  Nope, it wasn't a blown fuse.   It was a disconnection sticker on my front door.   Thankfully I had access to monies and went and paid the bill and I think it took about three days for the lights to get back on.   My salvation during that time is that I have ventless heaters that don't require electricity to work.  My biggest concern during that time still was fire as we had to burn candles for lights.  
The recent tragic fire on the South Side involved something electrical:  either a hotplate or an electric heater.   Add in very young children and the recipe for disaster was perfect.   Both Tatiana the mother of the four young children (all under the age of 7) and her sister Brittanny had gone out.   According to news reports, Tatiana was supposed to stay home with the kids while Brittany went out.   But Tatiana got a call to go to a CD release party and ran out leaving Brittany at home.   Brittany in turn left too, calling Tatiana to let her know she was gone.   In the end, both women were gone when the fire broke out.
As I read the news reports that had both women charged, I am in full agreement about the mother.   I have doubts about the aunt simply because those aren't her children and if the aunt is quilty, then those baby daddies are as well.
I think the court should arrest the fathers and charge them with the same things as Tatiana and Brittany.   For far too long, men have fathered children and been allowed to walk away, stay away and more often than not, just be uninvolved in their prodgeny other than the night the child was made.  We need a high profile case to put men on the spot and send a message that childcreation is a lifetime obligation and men are just as responsible for their children's upbringing as the mom.   Men have as much rights to pull the mother into child support court as women do men. It is time for total child rearing equality. 

What say you? 

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