A Tulsa woman was booked into jail, charged with three counts of child endangerment. Police say her three young children were found in the family's home at Waterstone Apartments in south Tulsa, without food or air conditioning.
A hot July day with three young children alone in an apartment with no air conditioning and no food within reach, led police to discover the 5-, 4-, and 2-year-olds at the apartment with temperatures inside, reaching at least 90 degrees.
TPD says the kids were pouring bottles of water onto themselves to cool off.
The children were taken into protective custody and their mother, Yomara Alvarado, 25, was arrested around 2 and a half hours later.
"If there's no air movement -- if the windows aren't open, it can definitely get 20 to 30 degrees above the air temperature outside," said EMSA emergency responder, Michael Ginn who says, he has seen similar situations.
Often, he says, the problem is people wanting to save a few bucks on their electric bills.
"People want to save on their electricity so they won't run their air conditioning as long or they'll run it higher than it should be and they'll get hot and overheat," Ginn said.
It is unclear why Alvarado's apartment on East 57th Place was without air conditioning. But with children being especially susceptible to rising temperatures, Ginn says, the situation police discovered Tuesday, could have been much worse. "They don't process heat the same way we do, like we can sweat, we can -- we know when we're getting hot, we know when to stop when we're seeing the symptoms. Children will just play right through it. They won't get heat off of them as well, they won't sweat as much, so that's a significant problem."
Whatever Alvarado's motives may have been, Ginn says the risk she took is never one worth taking. "My main piece of advice is spend a little extra money. Keep your air conditioner on."
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