Dad charged in St. Louis fire that nearly killed 4 children

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A father whose four young children were allegedly left alone and nearly killed in a St. Louis house fire has been charged with four counts of child endangerment.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the charges were filed Tuesday against 33-year-old Keith Witherspoon Jr., who is jailed without bond. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

None of the children were older than 4 at the time of the Aug. 15 fire. They were found hiding from the fire in a playroom, including two in a play tent and one in a closet. Three of them were in cardiac arrest initially. Their mother, 27-year-old Crystal Ford, was previously charged.

Court records say Witherspoon was seen on surveillance video leaving the residence before the fire. The cause hasn't been determined.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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