Authorities: Children escape fire that started after mother left them home alone

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Two young children escaped a fire that started after they were left alone in a Hibbing apartment, and now their mother has been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, according to authorities.

Hibbing's police and fire departments were called to a building fire at 2323 4th Ave. E just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, where it was found the children – aged 2 and 5 – had been left unattended in their mother's apartment, according to a release from Hibbing Fire Department.

The department says the mother had left the children alone while she was at work. The older child told firefighters the blaze had started when his brother was by the stove, and some papers caught fire.

The kitchen fire was extinguished quickly, but not before it caused fire, smoke and water damage estimated at $15,000 to the property.

The cause of the fire is currently being described as "the result of unattended children."

"We are so grateful the children were uninjured and able to escape the apartment to get help," the press release says. "This fire could have been much worse. The apartment had smoke alarms but none were working at the time of the fire. We would like to remind people to never leave your young children un-attended for any period of time."

They added: "Statistics show that fire is the leading cause of accidental death in the home to children ages 5 and under and many are a victim of their own fire play activity."

Their 24-year-old mother is currently being held in St. Louis County Jail in Hibbing and is expected to be charged with two counts of child endangerment.

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