- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. (AP) - Authorities said Friday they don’t expect to file charges against two parents who were away from home at a Bible study class when a fire broke out in their eastern Wisconsin home, killing three of their four children.

Public Safety Director Steve Riffel told the Sheboygan Press (https://shebpr.es/1SOD9V0 ) that investigators have now confirmed that the parents were at a Bible study class when the fire broke out at the family’s home in Sheboygan Falls on Tuesday night. He also said that while investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire, it appeared to have been accidental.

Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco said the fire may have been electrical. And he said it would take a “major revelation” to cause him to file any criminal charges against the parents, Chris and Kristi Maki.

“I’m inclined right now to say it’s simply a tragedy, not anything else,” the prosecutor said.

A candlelight vigil for the children was set for 7 p.m. Friday at River Park in Sheboygan Falls.

Chris and Kristi Maki released a statement saying they are humbled and appreciative of the community support they’ve received since the fire. The Makis said 10-year-old Ben Martin died Thursday evening at Children’s Hospital in suburban Milwaukee. Eleven-year-old Natalie Martin died at the same hospital early Wednesday. Seven-year-old Carter Maki died the night of the fire at a Sheboygan hospital. Nine-year-old Jenna Martin escaped the burning home and was not injured.

A memorial service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at Southside Alliance Church in Sheboygan. Visitation begins at 1:30 p.m.


Information from: Sheboygan Press Media, https://www.sheboygan-press.com

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