Boys who survived fire receive Christmas gifts from authorities

December 26, 2012 7:06:01 AM PST
Some first responders brought Christmas joy to two boys who lost young relatives in a fire last Saturday.

The boys lost their siblings in a fire after their mother and aunt allegedly left them home alone, the Englewood home kept warm by space heaters and a hot plate.

Two-year-old Javaris Meakens and 3-year-old Jariyah Meakens were killed in the fire.

Now, the surviving children, a 4-year-old and 7-year-old, are in the custody of the Department of Child Family Services.

The idea that they would be alone Christmas morning was too much to bear for the officers who responded to the fire.

Tuesday, a group of Chicago police officers proved to the boys that Santa Claus does exist.

"I explained that Santa had been looking for them and he needed somewhere to leave their stockings and he left them with me," said officer Mike Keeney.

Officer Juan Belmontes and his partner Sergio Glowacki were the second car on the scene that day. They spent the rest of the day caring for the boys.

"We watched Cars on Netflix several times and just grew close to them you know," Officer Belmontes said. "I can't explain it, it almost, it breaks your heart."

"I think myself and officer Belmontes lost it when the children said, 'do you have to go?' It took me like 20 minutes to compose myself," Officer Glowacki said.

The officers knew they wanted to do something for the boys to make up for all they had lost. So they banded with operators in the 911 center and spread the word. Tuesday morning they unloaded bags and bags of toys and delivered them personally.

"When I came in this morning to get everything it was unbelievable how much stuff we had upstairs," said 911 dispatcher Michelle Dennis. "I have an old Suburban. It filled the whole back."

"I was like, I'm going to do this because I've been feeling so icky with the murder of children in the world and I felt. I have to do something. I've been too blessed not to," said 911 dispatcher Brenda Jones.

A judge set bond for the boys' mother and aunt Monday, but as of Tuesday night they were still in Cook County Jail. The women are due back in court Wednesday.

It is unclear if the boys will be returned to their mother once she is released.

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