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State: Neglect contributed to deaths of young girls in fire

March 5, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Neglect contributed to the deaths of two young girls in a fire at a Providence home in December, state child welfare officials said Friday.

The girls, ages 2 and 7, died from injuries suffered in the Dec. 22 fire, authorities said.

As a result the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families investigated.

“The Department initiated an investigation and determined neglect contributed to their fatalities,” the agency said in an emailed statement. “Pursuant to state law, DCYF has notified the Office of the Child Advocate of the report.”

The agency had no prior involvement with the family.

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The children were brought to Hasbro Children’s Hospital after being pulled unresponsive from the second floor of the multi-family home. Ashley Sandoval, 7, died the day of the fire, authorities said at the time. Her sister, Allison Sandoval, 2, died several days later.

Adult relatives and another juvenile who were home at the time of the fire escaped.

The Department of Children, Youth and Families said due to confidentiality laws, it could not disclose any additional information.

The fire remains under investigation but arson has been ruled out, public safety officials said.