Eastpointe Mom Ordered To Stand Trial After 3 Kids Killed In Fire

April 23, 2019 - 9:09 am

EASTPOINTE (WWJ/AP) - The mother of two boys who, along with another child, died in an accidental house fire in Eastpointe has been ordered to stand trial on child abuse charges.

District Court Judge Carl Gerds made the ruling recently after hearing testimony and reviewing arguments from 29-year-old Amber Swain's attorney John Dakmak and prosecutors, The Macomb Daily reported.

Dakmak said the children had been home alone in Eastpointe for about 85 minutes when the fire struck in March 2018. Prosecutors say it was more like three hours, based on when the fire likely started. Swain's 8- and 9-year-old sons and her 4-year-old niece were killed in the blaze.

Dakmak also disputed arguments from prosecutors that Swain was reckless because she couldn't have foreseen that her home would burn down "during the short time frame" when the children were alone. 

According to the newspaper, Swain claims she left the home at 3:30 a.m. to pick up her sister from work. Her sister then dropped Swain off at her job before returning at 4:55 to find the home on fire.

Records say an electrical malfunction caused the fire. Officials also didn't find working smoke detectors in the home, on Juliana Avenue near 8 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue, where Swain and her sister lived with their five children. 

Swain is due back in court Monday to face arraignment on three counts of second-degree child abuse.