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updated: 12/23/2012 6:01 PM

Police question family in fire that killed 2 kids

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Associated Press

Chicago authorities are investigating the family members of two children who were allegedly left alone in an apartment on the city's South Side and died in a fire.

Police say a hot plate being used for heat in the first-floor apartment may have started the fire early Saturday. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says firefighters found no working smoke detectors in the apartment building.

The Cook County medical examiner has identified the children as two-year-old Javaris Meakens and three-year-old Jariyah Meakens.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jimmie Whitelow says child welfare workers are investigating allegations of neglect.

Two other children were rescued from the apartment fire.

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