Police Arrest Aunt Of Children Killed In Tulsa Apartment Fire

Tuesday, November 19th 2013, 3:07 pm
By: Dee Duren, Emory Bryan

The aunt of the two little girls killed in an apartment fire Monday is in custody, according to Tulsa Police. 

On Tuesday, Moses was booked into Tulsa County Jail on two complaints of child neglect. She is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Dead are 18-month-old Nylah Moses and 4-year-old Noni Moses.

The fire broke out at London Square Apartments, 59th Street and South Lewis Avenue, around 3 p.m.  Moses was babysitting the children when a cooking fire quickly engulfed the home, according to police.

She told police she left the apartment while frying chicken to take out the trash then ran into a "homie," according to an arrest report.

11/18/2013 Related Story: Cooking Blamed For Tulsa Apartment Fire That Killed Two Children

Police say a review of surveillance video indicates this is untrue, however. They say Moses, 23, left the apartment to go to another apartment and was gone for at least eight minutes.

"We had some video from security cameras we were able to pick her up at various times, and we were able to pretty much prove she was gone 8-10 minutes before the discovery of the fire," said Corporal Greg Smith, Tulsa Police Child Crisis Unit.

Miashah Moses told police she locked the door when she left the apartment then couldn't get the key to work when she returned. Witnesses say they tried to help and kicked in the door, but the fire and smoke prevented them from entering.

A man tried to climb up on a balcony but fell off. Miashah Moses was on the sidewalk inconsolable while firefighters searched for two children she had been watching.

Firefighters were kept back by the heat at first also.

The fire is especially heartbreaking because the children were trapped in there alone behind a locked door - and while they were just inside that window - firefighters didn't know that and came in from the other side - working to get past the fire to those two little girls

"The focus is always on search and rescue," said Captain Stan May, Tulsa Fire Department.

"Life safety is the first thing we deal with on every incident. Until we can verify there is nobody in there, we'll do a primary search and then a secondary search, usually with a different team so we get two sets of eyes on it."

They didn't go in through the bedroom window because of the fire - and didn't spray water there at first to avoid pushing fire further into the apartment.

"The fire was at the front of the apartment," May said. "They had to put part of it out to get by and past it. There was no direct access, back to the bedrooms, that slowed them down."

Firefighters started a search but it was 14 minutes after they arrived before they ran out of the building with the oldest girl. Nearby - other firefighters crowded around the baby.

Despite every attempt to revive them - both died at the hospital.

Court records show Miashah Moses was convicted of drug possession (marijuana) and obstructing an officer in 2012. She pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges in 2009.