Mother charged after fatal Gary fire denied bond

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A Gary mother faces a judge from jail after her two young children die in a fire. (WLS)

A Gary mother accused of leaving her three young children in a burning apartment was denied bond in a court appearance Wednesday morning. Two of the children died in the fire on Sunday.

According to court documents, 33-year-old Kristen Gober's oldest son, 6-year-old Justen, said the fire started after he and his 4-year-old half-brother, Kristopher, put a blanket on the stove. Justen told police all three kids hid under a blanket before he ran away leaving Kristopher and 2-year-old Kailani alone in the apartment.

Police said their mother left the kids by themselves the night before to be with her boyfriend. She is now charged with three counts of neglect and one count of possession of marijuana

Just last week, Christopher Hardin was in court fighting for full custody of his son, Kris, who did not survive.

"It broke me apart to know that my son was actually calling out for help and she refused to do it," Hardin said. "I felt like I failed him as a father, because I tried to do it the right way by going through the system and the system failed me and I failed him and it's tearing me apart every day."

The father shared his son's last words with ABC7 Eyewitness News.

"The last words he told was, 'Daddy I want to come, can I come with you? Daddy I come with you?'"

The court document also revealed that Gober told police she went back to apartment to try to save her children. She said she heard the kids, but the flames kept her back so she left.

Gober was found at a McDonald's down the street. She said she never asked for firefighter's help. Instead she told police that she thought it was a lost cause. Gober claims she was doing laundry.

This was the same fire where an 8-year-old boy jumped from his burning fourth floor apartment, ultimately saving his own life.

The fire displaced more than 100 people in the 5800-block of Forest Court.

The Gary Police Department asks that anyone with additional information contact the Lake County/Gary metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3855 or the Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP (274-6347).
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