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Three Unattended Children Die in Trailer Fire

September 11, 1996

EARLSBORO, Okla. (AP) _ The deaths of three cousins who burned in their trailer after their mothers left them alone did not surprise many in this neighborhood.

``I always knew something was going to happen, with so many people living there,″ said Irene Harjo. ``I think everybody knew they was home by theirselves.″

The blaze, believed to be caused by faulty wiring, killed cousins McCale Talton, 18 months, Taze Talton, 7 and Charles Talton, 8, late Monday night. Three children were able to escape the blaze.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff Weldon Cantrell said one of the mothers told authorities she was playing bingo and two others said they had gone to the grocery store.

The surviving children were in protective custody with the Department of Human Services, and the mothers, Cynthia Talton, 30, Stephanie Talton, 26, and Hattie Talton, 28, were due at a hearing this morning.

The six children were often left to roam the dusty streets of Earlsboro, a small town 43 miles east of Oklahoma City, neighbors said.

``They just stayed in the streets. Some of them would come and beg for some food,″ said Juanita Brannon, who lives two doors down from the trailer.

The oldest child, 11-year-old Yvette Talton, did her best to take care of the others, Ms. Brannon said.

``She was good about mothering them, watching them, making sure they had something to eat,″ Ms. Brannon said.

Yvette pulled her brother and a cousin out of the fire, but could not return to save the others, Cantrell said. McCale Talton was Yvette’s brother.

``I really wanted to go back in and get the rest of my family,″ Yvette said Tuesday as she sat quietly in her grandmother’s house, the burns on her face covered with salve.

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