Stove Maker Sues Jessica Tata

Day Care Owner Jessica Tata Charged With 4 Counts Of Felony Murder

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Jessica Tata

HOUSTON - An appliance company is suing the owner of a day care that caught fire earlier this year, killing four children. The maker of the stove where the fire originated says it is not to blame, despite lawsuits filed by the families of the children.

Shomari Dickerson, 3, Elizabeth Kojah, 20 months, Kendyll Stradford, 20 months, and Elias Castillo died in the fire at a home in the 2800 block of Crestpark at Waypark shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. The house served as a day care facility called Jackie's Child Care.

Three other children were injured in the blaze.

Arson investigators said the fire started in the kitchen after a pot of oil was left on a hot burner.

Electrolux said it has been sued by some of the relatives of the children who died.

Electrolux filed a lawsuit against Jessica Tata earlier this month, claiming that it should not be named in lawsuits filed by the relatives.

Tata, 23, was supposed to be watching the children, but Houston Fire Department officials said she was grocery shopping at a Target store nearby when the fire started. Detectives said security video showed her arriving at the store at 1:09 p.m. and driving away from the store at 1:24 p.m. The children had been left home alone, investigators said.

Witnesses said Tata returned as smoke began billowing out of the home. The first call to 911 was made by someone other than Tata at 1:29 p.m., investigators said.

Tata has been charged with four counts of felony murder, four counts of abandoning a child and one count of reckless injury to a child.

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