Around 12:00 p.m. on March 28, Washoe Tribal Police and Carson City Fire units responded to a home in Carson City after a report of a structure fire, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office said.
Once at the scene, officials reportedly tried to enter the home and search for any possible victims, but officers couldn’t “make entry due to the smoke and fire,” officials said.
Neighbors told first responders there were possibly two children inside the home and “they were often left alone by their mother,” according to authorities.
Fire personnel were able to get inside the home and retrieve the two unresponsive children, ages 2 and 3, officials said.
The children were taken to a local hospital, where the 3-year-old girl was pronounced dead. The 2-year-old boy “remained in serious condition due to smoke inhalation,” but officials said he is expected to survive.
A third child, 8 years old, was reportedly at school while the fire was taking place, authorities said.
While firefighters were extinguishing the fire, the children’s mother, Samantha Rose Paulino, 23, returned home. She told authorities she “had gone to register for college classes and left the children home,” officials said.
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Paulino was arrested and booked into the Washoe County Detention Center for child abuse and neglect, according to police.
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