Olive Branch Police confirmed Friday morning that charges were filed in connection with a fire Monday that severely burned a 10-month old girl.
The homeowner where the fire took place around 4 p.m. Monday, 61-year-old Michael Atkins of 7762 Kealy Cove, has been charged with felony child neglect.
Bond was set at $5,000, which Atkins posted, and the case remains under investigation.
The baby, identified as Aliyah Marie, was inside a small apartment connected to Atkins’ home when the fire broke out.
It appears wiring caught fire and spread. Aliyah Marie had been briefly left alone to nap when the blaze started.
The father was not at home and the mother had just stepped out for a moment.
While the apartment was burning, the mother and the aunt of the toddler went in to try and pull little Aliyah to safety, but they were also burned in the process and taken to Regional One Medical Center in Memphis to be treated there.
A neighbor was eventually able to remove the baby from the residence.
The youngster was burned over 60 percent of her body. She was first taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis and then transferred to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is now being treated.
Shriners Hospital is one of the top facilities in the nation for pediatric burn recovery, reconstructive and plastic surgery.
Shriners Hospital, one of a series of facilities across the country, has pioneered some of the most significant advancements in burn care, burn injuries and scarring, physical rehabilitation and and support.
Aliyah is expected to have a long recovery from her burns and family members have started a GoFundMe page, titled Prayers for Aliyah, to invite others to donate to the family.
In addition to the burns to Aliyah and family members, the family also lost all of their belongings in the blaze.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.