Mother pleads guilty to child neglect in fatal fire in Del City

Stephanie Mae Dunham, 25, accused of having meth in her system when three children died in January 2011 blaze.
BY TIM WILLERT twillert@opubco.com Published: May 5, 2012
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Christopher Dunham, 26, also is charged with child neglect and enabling child neglect. His trial is set to begin Monday.

Del City Fire Marshal Jeff Keester testified at the father's preliminary hearing last year that fire inspectors found evidence methamphetamine was made inside the burned mobile home.

“The items that I saw are consistent with meth labs that I'm familiar with,” Keester testified.

The father admitted to a Del City fire inspector that he and his wife had smoked methamphetamine in the past, the inspector testified.

A government expert also testified at the preliminary hearing that the deadly mobile home fire could have been caused when a space heater set off fumes from a propane torch.

The heater was found tipped over on the carpeted floor of the motor home. The torch valve was found in the “on” position.

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