Firefighters respond to blaze, find children left at home alone


by Sherrell Hubbard

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 7:04 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- ALOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- A Louisville mother has been released from Metro Corrections after being arrested for endangering five children. 

Police said 34-year-old Cubwa Bahati left her 13-year-old to care for four younger children.  Bahati was arrested June 1 and charged with several counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.  Officials at Metro Corrections said she was released the same day. 

LMPD  Spokesperson Dwight Mitchell says a 2-year-old, 4-year-old, 7-year-old and 9-year-old are at the Home of the Innocents. Mitchell added that Child Protective Services removed the children from a home in the 4900 block of South Fourth Street.

In May, the arson squad responded to the house.  Police records indicate that the three youngest had set a mattress on fire.  Candace Steven lives next door.  Her husband helped put out the flames. 

"The fire had traveled down the fence, you could see that the mattress was obviously on fire," Stevens said.

Court papers obtained by WHAS11 indicate that once on the scene, investigators found an animal carcass, a sharp knife lying on the floor, and a gallon of spoiled milk.  The mother, Bahati, was not home.

Police records show her 17-year-old daughter, the mother of the two-year-old, was at work. 

 “Looking at the residence at that point the electricity was cut off, there was no food in the house and there was some curdled milk that the13-year-old was attempting to give the two year old," Mitchell said.

Steven said the news comes as no shock. 

 "Saggy diaper hadn’t been changed, wandering in the middle of the street, looking like she'd barely ate anything so it wasn't surprising to hear that she was eating spoiled milk,” she said.

CPS was called to remove the children.  Neighbor Tracy Thacker said it is for the best. 

"The other day a car almost hit the little baby who is only two years old because she was standing on the corner and walked out into the street and the car almost hit her," Thacker said

WHAS11 contacted CPS to learn if the agency has had  any prior contact with the family.  A representative denied our request for information stating that all information regarding information in families is to be kept strictly confidential by law.