Mother whose 7 kids died in UAE villa fire cleared of manslaughter
"I was sleeping when I smelt the smoke"
The Emirati mother of seven kids who died in a villa fire has been cleared of manslaughter and negligence charges by a court in Dibba Al Fujairah.
The mother has been accused of leaving her children at home and locking them up in their room, making it impossible for them to escape the heavy smoke when the fire erupted in January 2018.
She denied the accusations in court and insisted that she was home when the tragic incident happened.
"The fire broke out at 4.50am. How would I be outdoors at that hour?" she told the court.
"I was sleeping when I smelt the smoke. I rushed to my kids to rescue them, but I couldn't."
Court records showed that the kids - four boys and three girls, aged five to 15 - were sleeping in their room when the blaze started.
Upon being alerted to the incident, firefighters rushed to the scene and tried to rescue the kids, but it was too late.
The deceased were identified as twins Sara and Sumaia (5), Ali (9), Sheikha (10), Ahmad (11), Khalifa (13) and Shooq (15). Their father had passed away a year before the tragedy and their mother was raising them on her own at the villa in the Rol Dhadna village.
Previous reports of the incident said a short circuit caused the fire that started in the air-conditioner of the children's room and spread out to the rest of the house.
The tragedy sparked a nationwide campaign to instal smoke detectors in all homes.
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