Indiana

Official: Fire that killed 3 children in Gary ruled arson

In this Dec. 24, 2016 photo, stuffed animals lie at the foot of a tree near the scene of an apartment fire that took the lives of three children on Dec. 23, in Gary, Ind. Fire official Mark Jones, said Tuesday, Dec. 27, that the fire has been ruled an arson, but an investigation into what started it is ongoing. (Lauren Cross/The Times of Northwest Indiana via AP)

In this Dec. 24, 2016 photo, stuffed animals lie at the foot of a tree near the scene of an apartment fire that took the lives of three children on Dec. 23, in Gary, Ind. Fire official Mark Jones, said Tuesday, Dec. 27, that the fire has been ruled an arson, but an investigation into what started it is ongoing. (Lauren Cross/The Times of Northwest Indiana via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A fire official says an apartment fire that killed three young children in the northwest Indiana city of Gary was intentionally set.

Mark Jones, the Gary Fire Department's chief of operations, said Tuesday that the Dec. 23 fire has been ruled an arson, but an investigation into what started it is ongoing.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports (http://bit.ly/2ieo6Is ) that 2-year-old Yaleah Cohen, 4-year-old Alaya Pickens and 5-year-old Jayden Mitchell were pronounced dead at Oak Knoll Renaissance Apartments early on Dec. 24.

Jones says the children's mother and a man were taken to a hospital.

Gary fire officials say two of the children were found in a second-floor bedroom, and the third child was found at the top of a stairwell.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com