Andrea Aleman: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Andrea Aleman

Waco Police Department Andrea Aleman, grandmother charged with abandoning children in fire.

Andrea Aleman is a Waco, Texas grandmother charged with abandoning her two grandchildren in a house fire that killed them, KHOU reports. The 44-year-old grandmother was charged with reckless endangerment after she was accused of contributing to the deaths of 4-year-old Anthony Cole Puente and his 2-year-old sister, Rachel Rose Aleman.

Police say Aleman stayed in bed for several minutes after the children woke her when the fire started. Police say Aleman “abandoned her grandchildren in a burning house and took no action to get them help.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Andrea Aleman Left Kids Unsupervised in Room With Numerous Fire Hazards

A police document obtained by KHOU says that Aleman left the 2- and 4-year-old unsupervised in a room that had multiple fire hazards and then went to sleep.

The Waco fire marshal determined that the fire was started by someone inside the home, though it’s unclear if it was accidental or intentional.

Firefighters took 12 minutes to find the children inside the burning home. They found one of the children in a bathroom and the other in the bathroom closet. Both children were unresponsive and were pronounced dead at a local hospital. Both children died of smoke inhalation.

A third child, Aleman’s 11-year-old daughter, survived the fire.

2. Andrea Aleman Fled The Burning Home and Did Not Ask For Help

Police said the 11-year-old girl told officers that Aleman was the first person to leave the house.

A police document says that Aleman briefly called out from the next room before fleeing the home without checking if the kids were safe. The affidavit says that Aleman did not ask for help when she got outside.

“When she was alerted to a fire in the kitchen by both awakened young children, she did not immediately get up to investigate,” the affidavit says. “Instead, she chose to remain in bed for at least several minutes in a home with no working smoke alarms.

“The defendant stated she eventually got up and saw a fire in the kitchen where affiant has learned there was a pile of clothes, trash and children toys,” it continued. “Once the defendant left the bedroom, she left both victims behind and did not return to assist them or ensure they got out of the house.”

“Defendant abandoned her grandchildren in a burning house and took no action to get them help until firefighters walked past her on the corner down from the house,” the affidavit said. “She disregarded her duty to care for these children by placing them in a substantial and unjustifiable risk, which was of such a nature as to be a gross deviation from the standard of care from an ordinary person in likewise circumstances.”

3. Andrea Aleman’s Family Shocked by Her Actions

Felicia Punete, the children’s aunt, told KXXV that she was stunned by Aleman’s actions.

“Why didn’t she try harder to get them out of there?” Puente asked. “For them to be left like that by themselves and no one to go back to get them. Why would you do that to children?”

“I feel like I lost my own children because they were always with us,” she said.

Puente said Anthony tried to save his little sister but did not know how to get out.

“We always told him take care of your sister keep her hand by you,” Puente said. “I just think he just got confused and we told him about the tornadoes and with the tornadoes you find in the bathroom and we think that’s what they did.”

“For them to just be left in the closet by themselves, scared, crying not knowing what was going on, that hurts us,” the children’s uncle, John Puente, told KWTX.

4. Andrea Aleman Charged With Reckless Injury to a Child

Aleman was arrested at a north Waco home Thursday and charged with two counts of reckless injury to a child for contributing to the death of the two children, KHOU reported. She is being held at McLennan County jail on $30,000 bond.

Felicia Puente told KXXV that the arrest gave the family some closure.

“I had a big relief because some justice is being served for them,” she said. “I’m still not blaming her for what happened. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened.”

5. Police Say Andrea Aleman Tried to Change Her Story Multiple Times’

A police affidavit says that Aleman “changed her story as to what happened during the fire and her escape multiple times.” It goes on to say that Aleman later admitted to leaving the home “without seeing the young children actually leave.”

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said that their investigation found that Aleman’s “actions and/or lack thereof were reckless and contributed to the deaths of both children,” Fox News reported.

KXXV reported that 50 percent of the home was damaged by the fire. The damage is estimated at $40,000.

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